Full History

To God be the glory, great things He has done!

Boston DREAM Academy - Full History

The origins of the school date back to 2012. Dr. Sylvan Lashley, then the Education superintendent of the Northeastern Conference of SDA held two Town Hall Meetings at the Waymark SDA church in Boston with concerned parents from several area churches. The gathered parents were unhappy with the lack of high-quality, faith-based, high school education for their children. Out of these meetings, a desire arose to start a high school in the Boston area and when Dr Lashley’s plans to develop a new high school did not materialize, most parents went ahead and made alternative arrangements for their children. However, late in the summer, Pastor Cornell Miller of the Waymark SDA Church encouraged parents who had attended the Town Hall meetings to start a school and show that a high school would be viable. Marva and Rodney Durand along with Opal and David Williams responded to Pastor Miller’s challenge, and so the Boston DREAM Academy (BDA) was formally established with 3 students in January 2013. From its inception until the start of the pandemic, the school was physically located in the Waymark SDA church and has received support from the Waymark SDA Church, as well as other area SDA churches.  

The school had no paid staff in the early years but these few parents with a vision identified and leveraged local community resources. The school relied entirely on volunteers, including a retired principal (Carlos Gibb) and teacher (Marjorie Samuels) from the Boston Public School system. They established a close, collaborative relationship with the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester for Physical Education, Digital Design, and Swimming, with MIT’s FabLab for STEM education, with the Suzuki Institute of Boston for music, and with pastors of local SDA churches for the teaching of Religious Education. A major milestone in the early years, was the hiring of a dynamic, experienced, visionary and hard-working principal, Mr. Robert Jackson, in 2015.

From its early days BDA has sought guidance from leaders in education and benefited from visits from experts such as, Drs David Greenlaw and Edwin Hernandez from Advent Health University in Florida and from David Daniels, then the head of the SDA Initiative at the Bainum Foundation.

BDA has also been a pioneer in developing innovations in the delivery of rigorous, high-quality education. Today, BDA offers an innovative blended learning program. Core courses are offered through Virtual High School Learning (VHS), an accredited online program with over 200 Honors and standard courses, and 29 College Board approved Advanced Placement (AP) classes. This allows our students to take classes specifically tailored to their individual interest and goals. Live teaching is also offered for math, science and English and in-person instruction is provided in Bible, Music, Physical Education, Art and Swimming.  Thus far, BDA has had 31 graduates, and all but one have gone on to College with the majority going to SDA Colleges and Universities. Four are currently completing graduate or professional degrees.

BDA has also intentionally created an environment where each student feels valued, loved and affirmed. BDA wants its students and alumni to be known not only for their intellectual ability, but for their integrity, self-discipline, high moral value, commitment to equity and justice and as adults who demonstrate kindness and mercy to every individual they come in contact with.   

The support of the Bainum foundation has been transformative for BDA. The Foundation provided a team of advisors to enable the school to develop a strategic plan for its future. The Bainum’s Foundation generous grant of $2 Million to be used to support up to two-thirds of the cost of a new school building has been a life-changing moment for the school. It is this grant that has made the purchase of this building at 48 Pleasant Street in Dorchester a reality. To God be the glory, great things He has done!