Ryan Banks Academy is an independent and coeducational college-preparatory, residential, tuition-free middle and high school that will prepare motivated students from Chicago neighborhoods to graduate from college, enter into meaningful careers, and be the catalyst to bring positive change into their communities.
Tap to call (219-510-3383)
RBA is seeking an innovative, socially conscious company to incubate us! Does this sound like your organization?
  • You're an innovative, socially conscious company (or you're looking to become one!) who is looking for a way to give back to the community in a unique way.
  • You pride yourself on the collaborative and supportive culture you've created.
  • You're constantly looking for ways to be cutting edge, and you are the one setting the trends in your industry as well as with your philanthropic efforts.
  • You've grown increasingly frustrated with the opportunity gap and inequities plaguing Chicago, and you're a trailblazer who is ready to be an active part of the solution.

This is not a charity situation, but rather, there are a multitude of ways your company would benefit from the partnership. Please read the PDF document to learn more about this exciting opportunity. We look forward to hearing from you!

Download or view the document in PDF format.
Read the full document on this website.

Hello, and welcome to the Ryan Banks Academy website!  Since 2014, our Board members and volunteers have worked tirelessly in the pursuit of our mission to build Chicago’s first residential school for urban youth which we plan to open in time for the 2018-2019 school year.

Our mission statement is as follows:

Ryan Banks Academy was founded as a coeducational boarding school in 2014 and seeks to impact the lives of students through a rigorous college and career preparatory education, a supportive boarding program, and a focus on personal development in a positive environment.  We teach our students not only the value of education, but we also encourage our students to focus on cultivating their own unique strengths, interests, and passions so that they may lead a purpose-filled life.  We take a holistic view of the student as a whole person, and our curriculum focuses not just on their academic pursuits but also on developing their relationships, core values, mindset, and our students learn how to set goals and to plan for their future.  We encourage our students to take on leadership positions in their community and we also teach the importance of giving back to others.  Our students are not just encouraged to think critically, but also to expand their idea of what is possible by pushing the boundaries of their own comfort zone and to look at the world as being full of limitless possibilities.  We take a strengths-based approach to learning and building confidence, and we believe that each and every one of our students has a legacy within them to change the world.

Please take a look around our website, there's lots to see and do here!  You can learn about our team (and even join us!), donate to our great cause, and even take a sneak peek into the behind the scenes of our journey to build Ryan Banks Academy by following our blog, watching our videos, or by checking out our social media channels.

Feel free to contact us on our contact page, or send us an email at info(at)ryanbanksacademy(dot)org if you have any questions.  Thank you so much for support!


The Ryan Banks Academy Team

The Ryan Banks Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

Jeff Garlin Event

Actor/comedian Jeff Garlin's movie screening of the film "Handsome" to benefit RBA took place April 13th.

View video and photos from the event.

Steve Cochran Full Show

Steve Cochran Full Show 03.24.17:

Ryan Banks Academy founder Valerie Groth was in-studio discussing The Ryan Banks Academy. The segment with Valerie starts at 1:25:30.


Please consider supporting us by ordering an RBA yoga style tank top.

Tanks are $20 and can be customized with four different font color options.

The back of the tank includes our hashtag, #TakeAStepForRyan.

Ryan Banks Academy in the Media

Chronicle of Social Change
Chicago Tribune
Chicago Reader
Chicago Woman

Help Bring a Great School to Chicago!

Please lend your support - take a moment to sign our change.org petition to help change the lives of Chicago students!

Take a Step for Ryan!

Will you take a step for Ryan? Please donate - every dollar makes a difference for our Chicago-based boarding school!

  Please donate now!
Arne Duncan

"I believe that in communities with high youth violence, 24/7 urban boarding schools can provide a safe environment and give kids a chance to be successful. Our schools should be community centers with a wide variety of after school and social/emotional programming. I believe initiatives like Ryan Banks Academy can be game changers in addressing the issue of youth violence, which is a public health crisis."

Jeff Garlin on Ryan Banks Academy
Jeff Garlin Interview

Media Kit

Please feel free to download the Ryan Banks Academy media kit to learn more about us, and feel free to share with anyone who may be interested in our mission!