- Post 10 May 2013
- By Deitra P. Johnson, Sports Staff Writer
- Hits: 23
The new Georgia Prep Sports Academy (GPSA) is officially on the map in Atlanta.
GPSA held its first Open House on May 4 and 26 post-graduate athletes and their parents toured the facilities located at 444 Highland Ave. in northeast Atlanta.
GPSA, a bridge between high school and college, was the brainchild of Michael Carson, former football coach and educator in DeKalb County. GPSA holds a non-profit status, and will soon open its doors to its first class of student-athletes with a simple mission – to provide a platform for student-athletes to get on track academically in order to obtain scholarship dollars for higher education.
"I was motivated to start Georgia Prep based on my experience as a high school educator for 17 years, and dealing with kids every year who were not getting the opportunity to access scholarship funds on the next level," Carson said.
"Basically it is an academic problem...not having the minimum academic requirements to get into a college with their SAT and ACT test scores, primary course load and GPA requirements. "I resigned my position on Aug. 30, 2012, and started GPSA the next day," Carson continued.
The school not only recruited student-athletes from all over the Southeast to play for its inaugural 2013 season by aggressively reaching out to coaches all over the region, but has also recruited the services of Kaplan, the Phoenix Group and National High School to assist in focusing on any deficiencies the students may have.
"We've come to the point where a high school diploma is not enough, particularly with our Black males. It's a must for us to get to college and hopefully get a college degree for the playing field to be level for us," Carson continued.
Starting the new school meant cashing in his retirement to cover start-up costs. Carson is not only the architect and builder of Georgia Prep Sports Academy, but doubles as the program's first head football coach. He is now seeking additional funding from individuals and agencies who share in his commitment to youth development and athletics.
The Buford native and former head coach at Avondale and Martin Luther King Jr. high schools resigned from high school coaching after being accused of "sexting" an adult female who complained to the school.
With that embarrassment behind him, the award-winning coach will soon see his new vision become reality this fall when his Lions take the field for the first time. The football program has a viable schedule, opening with LaGrange College on Aug. 25.
GPSA looks to add additional programs like basketball and volleyball in the near future.
For more information, visit the following website: www.georgiaprepsportsacademy.org or call 678-663-7514.