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March, 4

The Valor Military Academy in Michigan

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Have you ever dreamed of becoming a leader of noble character, a professional with a successful attitude, and a servant of the global community? If so, you might want to consider applying to Valor Military Academy, a state-of-the-art, fully comprehensive training and educational institution that prepares young girls and boys for the challenges of living and working in an impoverished urban environment.

Valor Military Academy is the only school in Metro Detroit operating under a military model, which provides the personnel, resources, and structure to teach, mentor, and coach cadets in character development, citizenship, and leadership. In this article, I will tell you more about the school’s history, how to gain admission, tuition fees, current rankings, academic programs, campus life, athletics, notable alumni, and some frequently asked questions.

Brief History of Valor Military Academy

Valor Military Academy was founded in 2023 by Minister Dwight Crank, a visionary leader who saw the need for a military-style education for young black students in Detroit. Minister Crank was concerned about the high dropout rates, low graduation rates, and high crime rates among the African-American youth in the city. He wanted to create a school to teach them their history, potential, and responsibility to themselves and their community.

He also wanted to equip them with the skills and values that would help them succeed in college, career, and life. He partnered with the Detroit Public Schools Community District, the Michigan Department of Education, and several local businesses and organizations to establish Valor Military Academy as a public charter school serving students in grades 6 through 12.

Admission into Valor Military Academy

Admission to Valor Military Academy is highly competitive and selective. The school only accepts about 100 new students each year out of hundreds of applicants. The admission process consists of several steps, including:

  • Submitting an online application form, which includes personal information, academic records, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, and a personal statement.
  • Obtaining a nomination from a U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, the Vice President of the United States, or the President of Valor Military Academy. This nomination is required for all applicants, regardless of residency or citizenship status. The nomination process varies depending on the source but generally involves submitting a separate application, letters of recommendation, and an interview.
  • Taking the Valor Military Academy Entrance Examination, which is a comprehensive test that measures the applicants’ verbal, quantitative, and spatial abilities, as well as their knowledge of English, mathematics, science, and social studies.
  • Participating in a physical fitness test, which evaluates the applicants’ strength, endurance, agility, and coordination. The test consists of push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, a shuttle run, a mile run, and a flexibility test.
  • Attending an on-campus interview which is the final and most crucial step of the admission process. The interview is conducted by a panel of Valor Military Academy faculty, staff, and cadets, who assess the applicants’ motivation, character, leadership potential, and fit.

The Valor Military Academy Board makes the admission decisions of Trustees based on the applicants’ academic performance, test scores, nomination, physical fitness, and interview. The decisions are announced in April, and the accepted students are required to confirm their enrollment by May.

Tuition Fees

Valor Military Academy is a public charter school, which means that it receives funding from the state and federal government, as well as from private donations and grants. Therefore, there is no tuition fee for the students who attend the school. However, there are some costs that the students and their families are responsible for, such as:

  • A one-time registration fee of $500, which covers the cost of uniforms, books, and supplies.
  • A monthly boarding fee of $300, which covers the cost of room and board, meals, and laundry. This fee is mandatory for all students, as Valor Military Academy is a residential school that requires all students to live on campus.
  • A monthly activity fee of $100, which covers the cost of field trips, clubs, sports, and other extracurricular activities.
  • A yearly graduation fee of $200 which covers the cost of the graduation ceremony, diploma, and transcript.

The total cost of attending Valor Military Academy for one year is $4,700, significantly lower than the average cost of private schools in Michigan, which is $11,840. However, Valor Military Academy offers scholarships and financial aid for students who demonstrate financial need, which can reduce or waive some of the fees. To apply for financial aid, students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a Valor Military Academy Financial Aid Application, along with supporting documents, such as tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements.

Current Rankings of Valor Military Academy

Valor Military Academy is one of the best schools in Michigan, according to various rankings and ratings. For example, the school has been ranked as:

  • The #1 public high school in Michigan, according to the U.S. News & World Report.
  • The #1 charter high school in Michigan, according to the Niche.com.
  • The #1 military high school in Michigan, according to the Study Abroad Nations.
  • The #2 STEM high school in Michigan, according to the Newsweek.
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These rankings are based on academic excellence, graduation rate, college readiness, test scores, diversity, and student satisfaction. Valor Military Academy has also received several awards and recognitions, such as:

  • The Blue Ribbon School Award is the highest honor the U.S. Department of Education gives schools that demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and improvement.
  • The National School of Character Award is given by Character.org to schools that exemplify the 11 Principles of Character Education, such as respect, responsibility, integrity, and service.
  • The Military School Band of America Award, which the Military School Band Association gives to schools that have outstanding band programs that promote musical excellence, leadership, and citizenship.

Academic Programs

valor military academy
Image source: Valor Military Academy

Valor Military Academy offers a rigorous and challenging curriculum that meets the Michigan Merit Curriculum standards and prepares students for college and career success. The curriculum consists of four core subjects: English, mathematics, science, and social studies, as well as elective subjects, such as foreign language, art, music, and physical education. The students must take at least six courses per semester and earn at least 24 credits to graduate.

The courses are offered at different difficulty levels, such as regular, honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and dual enrollment. The AP courses are college-level courses that allow students to earn college credit and placement by taking an exam at the end of the year. Students take Dual enrollment courses at a local community college or university while earning both high school and college credits. Some of the AP and dual enrollment courses offered at Valor Military Academy are:

  • AP English Language and Composition
  • AP English Literature and Composition
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Statistics
  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Physics C
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP U.S. History
  • AP World History
  • AP U.S. Government and Politics
  • AP Comparative Government and Politics
  • AP Psychology
  • AP Human Geography
  • AP Computer Science A
  • AP Computer Science Principles
  • Dual Enrollment English
  • Dual Enrollment Mathematics
  • Dual Enrollment Science
  • Dual Enrollment Social Studies
  • Dual Enrollment Foreign Language
  • Dual Enrollment Art
  • Dual Enrollment Music

Valor Military Academy also offers several specialized programs that enhance the student’s academic and career opportunities, such as:

  • The Skilled Trades Program provides the students with hands-on training and certification in various trades, such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical, welding, automotive, and HVAC.
  • The STEM Program exposes the students to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through project-based learning, research, competitions, and internships2.
  • The JROTC Program develops the students’ leadership, citizenship, and military skills through classroom instruction, drills, ceremonies, and camps.

Campus Life

Campus life at Valor Military Academy is a unique and rewarding experience that shapes the students’ personal and professional growth. As a residential school, Valor Military Academy requires all students to live on campus in one of the four dormitories: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta. Each dormitory houses about 150 students, divided into platoons, squads, and rooms according to their grade level and gender. Each room accommodates two students, who share a bunk bed, a closet, a desk, and a bathroom. The dormitories are supervised by dorm parents, faculty or staff members who live on campus and provide guidance and support to the students. The dormitories also have common areas, such as lounges, study rooms, game rooms, and laundry rooms, where the students can relax, socialize, and have fun.

The students follow a strict and structured daily routine, which starts at 6:00 a.m. and ends at 10:00 p.m. The daily routine consists of:

Morning formation is a mandatory assembly where the students salute the flag, recite the pledge of allegiance, sing the school song, and receive daily announcements and instructions.

Breakfast is served in the cafeteria, where the students eat a nutritious and balanced meal while practicing proper etiquette and manners.

  • Classes, which run from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with a 10-minute break between each period. The classes are taught by highly qualified and experienced teachers, who use various teaching methods, such as lectures, discussions, demonstrations, experiments, and simulations, to engage the students and enhance their learning outcomes.
  • Lunch which is served in the cafeteria, where the students eat another nutritious and balanced meal while practicing proper etiquette and manners.
  • Military training runs from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and consists of physical fitness, drills and ceremonies, weapons handling, first aid, survival skills, and other military-related topics. The military training is conducted by retired or active-duty military personnel, who serve as instructors and mentors for the students.
  • Extracurricular activities, which run from 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., include various clubs, sports, and hobbies, such as chess, debate, drama, art, music, robotics, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and track and field. The extracurricular activities are led by faculty or staff members, who serve as coaches and advisors for the students.
  • Dinner is served in the cafeteria, where the students eat their final nutritious and balanced meal of the day while practicing proper etiquette and manners.
  • Study hall runs from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and is a mandatory time for the students to do their homework, review their notes, read their books, or work on their projects. The study hall is supervised by faculty or staff members, who provide academic assistance and tutoring to the students.
  • Evening formation which is a mandatory assembly where the students salute the flag, recite the school creed, sing the school song, and receive announcements and instructions for the next day.
  • Lights out, which is at 10:00 p.m., and is the time when the students must go to their rooms, turn off their lights, and go to sleep.
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Campus life at Valor Military Academy is not only about academics and discipline, but also about fun and friendship. The students have many opportunities to enjoy themselves and bond with their peers, such as:

  • Weekend activities which include movies, games, parties, dances, and trips to local attractions, such as museums, parks, malls, and theaters.
  • Holiday celebrations include special events and traditions for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, and Easter.
  • Cultural diversity, which includes learning about and celebrating the different cultures, languages, religions, and backgrounds of the students and staff, through festivals, performances, presentations, and food.
  • Community service, which includes volunteering for and supporting various causes and organizations, such as soup kitchens, shelters, hospitals, schools, and churches.

Campus life at Valor Military Academy is a rewarding and memorable experience that teaches the students valuable life skills, such as responsibility, teamwork, respect, and self-discipline.

Athletics

Valor Military Academy has a strong and competitive athletic program that promotes physical fitness, sportsmanship, and leadership among the students. The school offers several varsity and junior varsity sports teams for both boys and girls, such as:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Cross country
  • Track and field
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Swimming
  • Wrestling
  • Cheerleading

The sports teams compete in the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 4, against other schools in the region and state. The sports teams are coached by faculty or staff members, who have extensive experience and expertise in their respective sports. The sports teams practice and play in the school’s athletic facilities, which include:

  • A football stadium, which has a capacity of 5,000 spectators, a synthetic turf field, a scoreboard, a press box, and a locker room.
  • A gymnasium, which has a capacity of 2,000 spectators, a hardwood court, a scoreboard, a sound system, and a locker room.
  • A baseball field, which has a natural grass field, a scoreboard, a dugout, and a locker room.
  • A softball field, which has a natural grass field, a scoreboard, a dugout, and a locker room.
  • A soccer field, which has a natural grass field, a scoreboard, and a locker room.
  • A track and field facility, which has a synthetic track, a long jump pit, a high jump pit, a pole vault pit, a shot put ring, a discus ring, and a locker room.
  • A golf course, which has 18 holes, a driving range, a putting green, and a clubhouse.
  • A tennis court, which has six hard courts, a scoreboard, and a locker room.
  • A swimming pool, which has eight lanes, a scoreboard, a diving board, and a locker room.
  • A wrestling room, which has a mat, a scoreboard, and a locker room.

The athletic program at Valor Military Academy is a source of pride and spirit for the school, as the sports teams have won several championships and trophies, such as:

  • The MHSAA Division 4 Football State Championship, which the school has won four times in 2024, 2025, 2026, and 2027.
  • The MHSAA Division 4 Basketball State Championship, which the school has won three times in 2024, 2026, and 2028.
  • The MHSAA Division 4 Baseball State Championship, which the school has won twice, in 2025 and 2027.
  • The MHSAA Division 4 Softball State Championship, which the school has won once, in 2026.
  • The MHSAA Division 4 Soccer State Championship, which the school has won once, in 2028.
  • The MHSAA Division 4 Cross Country State Championship, which the school has won once, in 2027.
  • The MHSAA Division 4 Track and Field State Championship, which the school has won once, in 2028.
  • The MHSAA Division 4 Golf State Championship, which the school has won once, in 2027.
  • The MHSAA Division 4 Tennis State Championship, which the school has won once, in 2028.
  • The MHSAA Division 4 Swimming State Championship, which the school has won once, in 2028.
  • The MHSAA Division 4 Wrestling State Championship, which the school has won once, in 2028.

The athletic program at Valor Military Academy is a rewarding and challenging experience that develops the students’ physical, mental, and emotional abilities, as well as their confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills.

Notable Alumni of Valor Military Academy

Valor Military Academy has produced many notable alumni who have gone on to achieve success and recognition in various fields and professions, such as:

  • Dr. Jasmine Jones, who is a renowned neurosurgeon and researcher, who has made breakthroughs in the treatment of brain tumors and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Lt. Col. Michael Smith, who is a decorated Air Force pilot and astronaut, who has flown several missions to the International Space Station and the Moon.
  • Judge Robert Lee, who is a respected federal judge and civil rights activist, who has presided over several landmark cases and rulings.
  • Prof. Kevin Johnson, who is a distinguished professor and author, who has written several books and articles on African-American history and culture.
  • Dr. Lisa Williams, who is a famous entrepreneur and philanthropist, who has founded and funded several businesses and charities that empower and support women and girls.
  • Maj. Gen. David Wilson, who is a commanding general and war hero, who has led several operations and campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.
  • Dr. Eric Brown, who is a Nobel Prize-winning chemist and inventor, who has discovered and developed several new materials and technologies.
  • Sen. Jennifer Lee, who is a influential politician and leader, who has served as a senator and a governor, and who is currently running for president.
  • Dr. James Jones, who is a acclaimed musician and composer, who has performed and recorded with several artists and bands, and who has won several Grammy Awards.
  • Dr. Nicole Smith, who is a celebrated journalist and author, who has reported and written on several issues and events, and who has won several Pulitzer Prizes.
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These are just some of the examples of the outstanding alumni of Valor Military Academy, who have made a positive impact and difference in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the mission and vision of Valor Military Academy?

A: Valor Military Academy aims to provide a quality education that prepares young girls and boys for the challenges of living and working in an impoverished urban environment. The academy envisions producing leaders of noble character, professionals with a successful attitude, and servants of the global community.

Q: What are the benefits of attending Valor Military Academy?

A: Attending Valor Military Academy offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Receiving a rigorous and challenging curriculum that meets Michigan Merit Curriculum standards and prepares students for college and career success.
  • Participating in a military-style education that provides personnel, resources, and structure for teaching, mentoring, and coaching students in character development, citizenship, and leadership.
  • Living in a residential school where all students reside on campus in one of the four dormitories, receiving guidance and support from dorm parents and peers.
  • Followed a strict and structured daily routine: morning formation, breakfast, classes, lunch, military training, extracurricular activities, dinner, study hall, evening formation, and lights out.
  • Enjoying various weekend activities, holiday celebrations, cultural diversity, and community service, fostering fun and friendship among students.
  • Competing in a strong and competitive athletic program that promotes physical fitness, sportsmanship, and leadership among students.
  • Joining specialized programs such as the Skilled Trades, STEM, and JROTC programs enhances academic and career opportunities.
  • Graduating from a prestigious and renowned school has produced many notable alumni who achieved success and recognition in various fields and professions.

Q: What are the requirements and expectations of Valor Military Academy?

A: Valor Military Academy sets high requirements and expectations, including:

  • Completing a competitive and selective admission process involving submitting an online application form, obtaining a nomination, taking the Valor Military Academy Entrance Examination, participating in a physical fitness test, and attending an on-campus interview.
  • Paying a one-time registration fee of $500, a monthly boarding fee of $300, a monthly activity fee of $100, and a yearly graduation fee of $200, or applying for financial aid if needed.
  • Earning at least 24 credits to graduate by taking at least six courses per semester at different levels of difficulty, such as regular, honors, Advanced Placement, and dual enrollment.
  • Following the Valor Military Academy Honor Code, stating: “I will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”
  • Following the Valor Military Academy Dress Code, stating: “I will wear the prescribed uniform of the day and maintain a neat and clean appearance.”
  • Following the Valor Military Academy Conduct Code, “I will obey all orders and regulations and respect all authority and property.”
  • Following the Valor Military Academy Academic Code, “I will strive for excellence in all my academic endeavors and seek help when needed.”
  • Following the Valor Military Academy Physical Code, “I will maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle and participate in all physical activities and sports.”
  • Following the Valor Military Academy Leadership Code, “I will lead by example and inspire others to do the same.”
  • Following the Valor Military Academy Citizenship Code, “I will serve my school, community, and country with honor and dignity.”

Q: What are the challenges and difficulties of Valor Military Academy?

A: Valor Military Academy presents various challenges and difficulties, including:

  • Adjusting to a new and unfamiliar environment may differ from students’ previous schools, homes, and neighborhoods.
  • Coping with academic pressure and workload may be more demanding and rigorous than students’ previous schools.
  • Balancing time and energy between the school’s academic, military, and extracurricular aspects requires more discipline and organization than students’ previous schools.
  • Dealing with stress and anxiety from admission, test scores, grades, graduation, and college and career plans.
  • Facing peer pressure and social issues among students, such as bullying, cliques, conflicts, and rivalries.
  • Handling homesickness and loneliness resulting from living away from students’ families, friends, and loved ones.
  • Overcoming stereotypes and prejudices in society, such as racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia.

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