Comer Kids Leadership Academy

 In July 1999 students from Comer Schools in New Haven, CT, Norfolk, VA, and Community School District #13 in Brooklyn, NY came to Yale to participate in the first Comer Kids Academy (CKA). The purpose of the CKA was to provide students with an opportunity to learn more about the Comer Process and to meet Dr. Comer, the School Development Program faculty and staff, and other students from Comer Schools around the country. Parents, teacher, and administrators also participated in the Comer Kids Academy as chaperones.

Comer Kids, organized into teams of 10-12 and led by SDP faculty and field staff, went on a scavenger hunt at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, met with New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. at City Hall, and neurocience laboratories at Yale School of Medicine. They learned about the Comer Process and the six Developmental Pathways. They met with Dr. James P. Comer and learn about his life and work to make schools great places for children and youth to develop and learn so they can become positive and successful contributors in family, work, and civic life.

From 1999 to 2004 several hundred children participated in the Comer Kids Leadership Academy (renamed in 2002). The school districts that participated in the Comer Kids Leadership Academy included:

  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Miami-Dade County, Florida
  • New Haven, Connecticut
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Paterson, New Jersey
  • Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Prince George's County, Maryland
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Springfield, Missouri
  • Tucson, Arizona

Comer Kids Leadership Academy Alumni Profiles


Melissa G. Quintana represented Banyan Elementary School in Miami, Florida. Her parents, Silvia and Ariel Quintana, accompanied their daughter to New Haven to serve as chaperones for the Comer Kids from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Melissa is now a student at Columbia University on a full scholarship.

Joel Suarez represented Vincent E. Mauro School in New Haven, Connecticut. He is now a student at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.

If you participated in the Comer Kids (Leadership) Academy as a student delegate, chaperone, or team leader, please contact Cynthia Savo at empty