Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy offers its students a variety of programs to develop the whole person. From the opening day ceremony to travel abroad and cultural programs, the Academy provides opportunities for students to excel in many areas.

Travel Abroad

The Academy sponsors trips to countries throughout the African Diaspora to further connect students to their cultural heritage. Our students and staff have travelled to Senegal, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Cuba and Guatemala.

Art Programs

Artists in Residence provide all students with visual and performing art classes throughout the year.


The Academy has competitive basketball, track and field, and soccer teams for both boys and girls. The Academy plays teams from other charter schools as well as Boston Public Schools. Many of these student-athletes go on to play sports in high school.

Field Trips

The Academy offers a variety of field trips to area museums, historic buildings and landmarks that tie into the curriculum.

Chess Club

The Academy competes interscholastically as the Davis Leadership Academy Chess Club (DLACC), and is a member of the United States Chess Federation (USCF).


Each December, DLA is the first stop on the City of Boston’s Annual Kwanzaa Celebration. The Academy’s students take part in this non-religious festival that commemorates the seven African values of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. An outgrowth of the 1960’s Black Nationalist movement, the festival’s founders envisioned this annual celebration as a way for Black Americans to reconnect with their African heritage by uniting in meditation and studying African traditions.

Rites of Passage

Each year, at every grade level, students undergo a “rite of passage” through events emphasizing the importance of “stretching” oneself to do his/her own personal best while helping peers work toward academic and social success. This program helps students integrate pride about their cultural heritage into building a caring, supportive school community.

Science Exhibitions

The Academy’s Science Department holds two exhibits of students’ work in conjunction with the conclusion of the first two trimester units.

Leader-to-Leader Program

The Academy hosts individuals representing a variety of professions including law, finance, bio-technology, high-tech, education and politics in the for-profit, nonprofit and governmental sectors of the community. These professionals range from state legislators to prominent sports figures to corporate executives who engage in an interactive and reflective dialogue with students to help them understand the possibilities for their future.


Every February, the students participate in the Academy’s annual Blacks-In-Wax Museum which incorporates a variety of artistic forms. This is a day when students reach back into previous centuries and take on the persona of an African-American historical figure. Held during Black History month, this exhibit showcases the visual arts and acting talents of our students and helps those who are predominately of African-American or Caribbean-American heritage to better understand their cultural contributions to U.S. and world history.

DLA Blacks In Wax Exhibit