Carter’s Christian Academy more than just a school, it’s a family affair

August 25, 2022

 

Miltimes Staff Photo – The Carter Family pauses underneath a “Tree of Knowledge” sculpture while preparing classrooms for the new school year at Carter’s Christian Academy on August 23, 2022. From left to right: Joshua Carter, teacher’s aide and boys basketball coach; Keerah Carter, administrative assistant and; Andre Carter, director.

Andre Carter is proof of the importance of holding on to your dreams. Carter was raised as one of five children by a single mother in the Chicago projects. Now Carter’s two adult children are on the staff of the school she founded in 2004. In less than 20 years, enrollment at Carter’s Christian Academy has grown from 21 kindergarten- age students to 285 in grades K4-12th.

“I always had a desire to start a school as a young girl growing up,” she said, “but then I got married, started a family and took a job as a medical secretary.”

Soon after the birth of her second child, Joshua, Carter decided to quit her job as a medical secretary and home school her two children.

“Not long after I started home schooling, my pastor, Floydia Armon, encouraged me to develop an outside income by doing child care in my home,” she said. “This was what first opened the door for me to help other families that had a need.”

When the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction allowed entrepreneurs to operate private school choice programs, Carter said she was ready to pursue her deferred childhood dream.

Her two adult children are both are on the school staff. Daughter Keerah works as an administrative assistant. On February 20, 2022 she was named The United States of America’s Ms. 2022 in Las Vegas. In addition to serving as the administrative assistant, she also teaches courses on fashion, modeling, beauty etiquette and pageantry. She also counsels female students at the school.

“I have this title, but it also comes with a responsibility, Keerah said. “Pageant queens are public speakers with a sash and crown.”

Keerah had previously entered a pageant and felt underwhelmed by the experience. Andre Carter encouraged her daughter to enter one more pageant.

“Mom really encouraged me to give it another try,” Keerah said. “It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Working here gave me the freedom to pursue modeling and attend modeling classes.”

Keerah’s responsibilities as America’s Ms. 2022 involve traveling around the United States serving as an ambassador for the pageant. Keerah said she loves traveling and feels very fortunate to have a job and the opportunities to visit new places.

Both children feel a strong connection to Africa. Carter’s Christian Academy believes that service and mission work are an important part of a well-educated child and Andre said the school recently established a satellite school in Ghana and a day care center within a Kenyan women’s prison.

Keerah has held modeling workshops in Ghana, while Joshua recently joined the staff at Carter’s Christian Academy after playing professional basketball in Spain and then Kenya for two years after graduating from college.

“My education helped me to feel confident exploring new situations,” Joshua said. “One of the principles that defines the Carter Family is to help others position themselves to be successful. In addition to being the boys’ basketball coach, I am also a role model and mentor to many of them. Being a good role model and mentor is even more important to me than being a winning basketball coach.”

Every student at Carter’s Christian Academy is special and will have numerous opportunities to develop their talents, according to Andre Carter.

“They will all be somebody,” she said, “because we are transforming lives for eternity.”