Bridgeport school named after 9/11 victim makes a difference in children's lives
As Americans remember the 20th anniversary of 9/11, one Bridgeport school holds a special meaning for the students, parents and staff.
Adam J. Lewis Academy on State Street is named after financial trader Adam J. Lewis who was 36 years old when he died in tower two on 9/11.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: 9/11 - 20 Years Later
The private school in downtown Bridgeport was founded by Lewis' wife, Patty.
Patty says her husband grew up in a poor single-parent family, but a scholarship he won to the exclusive Dalton School in Manhattan opened every door for him in life.
She says she opened the school to give kids the same opportunities her husband had to compete on a level playing field.
"Every child that enters this school, and is enrolled in this school, we hope we're having the same impact. That transformational changing-of-life trajectory," says Patty.
The school accepts no public funding and operates entirely on donations.
After only having 13 students in 2013, the school now has 120 students, with parents paying only what they can afford.
Students and parents say the school has made an amazing difference in their lives.
"It's nice for my children, and nice for me and people who knew him, to keep his memory alive that way,” says Patty.
The school currently goes up to the third grade, but kids already enrolled will be able to stay on through eighth grade under the academy's new expanded structure.