Affiliate Name:

Scholar Athletes Leadership Academy (SALA)

Mission Statement:

Scholar Athletes Leadership Academy (SALA) strives to prepare all scholar athletes to become lifelong learners and leaders ready to meet the challenges of the new global, creative economy.

SALA endeavors to provide access to relevant, authentic, and joyous learning experiences for all scholar athletes. Scholar athletes at SALA thrive as part of a vibrant, inclusive, leading edge learning community that prioritizes the connectedness of school experience to the aspirational real-life and real-world our scholar athletes wish to build for themselves.

SALA believes in working closely with each scholar athlete to identify their unique gifts, maximize those gifts, and develop other interests to elevate and inform well-rounded graduates. With purpose, clarity, and precision, we use rigorous, relevant, and innovative curricula to help bring the best out of our scholar athletes.

Background & History:

Scholar Athletes Leadership Academy (SALA) is a New Jersey, state-registered private school offering a comprehensive 6-12th grade education together with prioritized, precise skills-training and ongoing leadership development. SALA imbues in young people a devotion towards learning, leadership and life skills tethered to their passion (soccer), aptitude, and specialization. At SALA, we believe that this pedagogy is the foundation of a successful life and an authentic culmination of maximized human potential.

Coursing with creativity and imbuing joy in a life-long learning journey, SALA professional educators build responsive instructional architecture and contemporary curricula that provides a firm foundation for the future. Young people at SALA experience their learning journey through a synergistic blend of "brick and click" education.

SALA delivers bespoke in-house units of inquiry through an innovation playlist containing popular courses such as Business & Entrepreneurship, Sports Management, SALA Robotics, Public Speaking, Debate & Rhetoric, SALA Speaks Podcast Communications, SALA Sciences and Justice & Equity. There are also over 250 online courses available, ranging from traditional to contemporary, to provide flexible learning pathways towards best-fit college placement.

Other "SALA Signature Programs" include: Project Leaders-To-Leaders Mentorship Program, College Preparatory Program, Spanish Pro Residency Program, and the SALA Serves Initiative (servant leadership in the community). The learning design and instructional initiative at SALA are intended to decrease dependency and increase decision making (student agency), better preparing young people for the college and/or career to which they aspire. SALA also offers a Post-Graduate Specialist program for high school graduates not immediately entering college.

SALA is for young leaders and learners who want more from their school experience. Young people at SALA develop entrepreneurial, well-rounded eclectic skills for today's machine-driven, ever-changing job market, society, and globally connected community. SALA culture ensures a personalized learning experience that fosters personal growth and leadership development through the increased access, equity and opportunity provided by a smaller school size and tight-knit learning community. Young, aspiring servant leaders refine their craft at SALA, and embolden their deliberate and impactful actions. The high expectations that permeate our school’s culture; inspires, educates, and empowers young people beyond their vision of learning, leadership, and service to others.

Notable Achievements:

  • 100% college acceptance rate.
  • 100% GPA improvement.
  • 8-1 scholar athlete to teacher ratio.
  • 100% graduation rate.
  • 100% of scholar athletes receive one-on-one tutoring support.

Notable Scholar Athletes:

  • Bento Estrela: New York Red Bulls

Schools & Students:

SALA is a private sports school which draws in 80+ high-level scholar athletes across two locations in New Jersey: SALA Central in Bridgewater & SALA South in Pitman.

Website & Social Media:

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“Our Affiliation with the New York Red Bulls Academy opens new doors for young people across both organizations. The flexibility and agency for busy Red Bulls Academy players to reach for their athletic and academic goals concurrently without fear of “seat time” requirements or credit deficit; and for enrolled scholar athletes to gain pro club exposure through Red Bulls Academy Coach instruction.

As two organizations thoroughly vested in maximizing the growth of exceptional young people, we continue to be excited about providing a synchronistic and balanced blend of academics and athletics through this ongoing partnership.”

– Sam Gough, School Founder / Director of Outreach, Scholar Athletes Leadership Academy

“Our relationship with SALA is another differentiator as we continue building a comprehensive academy which includes, education, transportation and homestay. We began working with SALA about 18 months ago and it has evolved over time. Our entire academy of players, coaches and families will now benefit from the weekly study sessions to life skills training to coaches learning various learning styles. It will be exciting to see how we can expand on the relationship in the years to come.”

– Ryan Brooks, Senior Manager of Academy Business Operations, New York Red Bulls

“We are excited to announce our renewed partnership with Scholar Athletes Leadership Academy for the years ahead. SALA is an educational institute which aims to nurture a life-long love of learning and develop self-directed learners and growth mindset leaders. Understanding the importance of academic attainment, this vision aligns perfectly with the objectives of Red Bulls Academy – both on and off the field.”

– Grant Findlay, Academy Manager, New York Red Bulls

“Our relationship with SALA has been hugely advantageous as it allows our Top Academy Prospects to train during the day and significantly increases our contact time which will ensure we accelerate their development both on the pitch and in the video room. Having a more flexible school schedule is imperative for our very top prospects as this also allows us to bring them in to train with New York Red Bulls II on a part-time or full-time basis as well as giving us the option to bring the very special young talents into our first team training environment to see how they cope.”

– Sean McCafferty, Academy Director, New York Red Bulls

SALA vs. Red Bulls Academy at Red Bulls Training Facility in 2020:

SALA 1.0

2021 SALA Graduation Ceremony:

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