The National Alliance interviewed Roblin Webb, founder and CEO of Freedom Preparatory Academy Charter Schools, in celebration of Women’s History Month. Freedom Prep has five locations in Memphis, Tennessee, serving more than 2,300 students in grades PreK-12. And by the fall of 2024, Freedom Prep will open a new school in Birmingham, Alabama.
What started out as a volunteer opportunity evolved into a lifelong mission to help close the achievement gap for low-income students in Memphis. Roblin served as an education lawyer early in her career where she fought for educational equality. She agreed to coach a mock trial at a Memphis high school. Roblin noticed that many students performed well on their state tests, but had low scores on the ACT, an entrance exam used by many colleges and universities for admission.
Roblin founded Freedom Prep in the fall of 2009 with a class of approximately 100 6th graders. From that moment on, her team has been dedicated to setting a solid foundation for students to excel in college and in life. For the past five years, Freedom Prep has had a 100% college acceptance rate for its seniors.
“It is just so powerful to see Black and brown children walking across that stage and holding the pendants of where they're going to college. To me, that's just such a pivotal moment, one in a family's life, to see their child transition and go to college and get a higher education and have different opportunities in life.” —Roblin Webb, founder and CEO of Freedom Prep Academy Charter Schools
The talent of the teachers and staff is one of the main factors contributing to student success. As Freedom Prep expands, Roblin and her team are searching all over the nation for mission-aligned individuals with a passion for helping transform education for students.
One thing that helps Roblin stay grounded and encouraged through challenging times in education is understanding her “why,” the reason she is in this work.
“I'm in this work because I believe I was put here to do this work. That is my why. That is my passion. That's my mission. This is what I was put here, my purpose, is what I was put here to do.” —Roblin Webb, founder and CEO of Freedom Prep Academy Charter Schools.
Brittnee Baker is the manager of communications and marketing at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
If you’re interested in learning more about Freedom Prep, introduce yourself by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.