WHO WE ARE
At UUNIK Academy, we understand the numerous challenges facing young African Americans today; the enormous pressures and expectations holding them back from a life of prosperity, contribution and purpose.
That’s why our programs are designed to invest resources and the highest-level education into our next generation, increase their ability and their confidence to compete in the American economy as responsible adults, and inspire them to raise their sights towards the careers of the future.
YOUNG PEOPLE ASPIRE FOR GREATNESS WHEN THEY KNOW THEY HAVE COME FROM GREATNESS
We’ve also discovered that a healthy sense of identity is important for our students to dare to dream big and discover their purpose in life. That’s why we instill a sense of culture and belonging within the African American community in every one of our students by building a foundation based on the 7 principles of Kwanzaa.
Our name, UUNIK stands for five of the Kwanzaa principles:
Umoja - Unity
Ujaama - Collective economics
Nia - Purpose
Imani - Faith
Kujichagulia - Self Determination.
We’ve found that answering questions about where our young people come from, giving them a healthy sense of responsibility based on culture, and showing them how they fit into society is a crucial aspect of our curriculum, leading to improved comprehension and motivation with educational subjects.
Once they have solid foundation in the past, and they are able to look forward to the future, we find our young people are embracing the opportunities they have in the present and making every day count.
That’s when the ACT prep courses and STEAM education we offer to our students really sinks in, and helps them take advantage of scholarships, college, and everything else life has to offer.
GOALS FOR OUR YOUTH
TO RESPECT THEMSELVES AND OTHERS.
TO HONOR AND RESPECT ELDERS.
TO BECOME KNOWLEDGEABLE OF AFRICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE.
TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO WORK COMMUNALLY AND LEAD WHEN NEEDED.
TO BECOME RESPONSIBLE FOR SELF AND BE ABLE TO CONTROL BEHAVIOR TOWARDS OTHERS.
TO UNDERSTAND BASIC MONEY MANAGEMENT TO UNDERSTAND AND PRACTICE THE UUNIK VALUE SYSTEM.
TO DEFINE PERSONAL GOALS INCLUDING PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL AND EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
meet reggie jenkins
Founder & Executive Director
For more than 25 years, Reggie Jenkins has worked tirelessly to guide and educate African American youth within the community. In 2003, Reggie founded the UUNIK Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee. The academy provides mentorship, support, and educational programs designed to help youth achieve their highest goals and potential in life. UUNIK teaches valuable lessons including leadership, African/African American history, self-esteem, entrepreneurship, plus college and ACT prep courses.
In 2006, Reggie successfully organized and financed UUNIK Academy’s first annual
"Calling All Males" youth conference. The annual event unites African American male youth with positive and professional black men within the community.
A professional speaker, author, and educational consultant, Reggie is a graduate of the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a minor in Statistics. After graduation, Reggie discovered his true passion - educating and creating innovative curricula & training programs developed to help support, encourage, inspire, and motivate African American youth.
Our ACT prep courses help our students achieve high-performance numbers on ACT tests and academic growth.
Calling All Males Youth Conference
This annual conference consists of workshops and discussions aimed at assisting the holistic development of our male youth.
STEAMI Summer Institute
STEAMI Summer Institute is an annual effort to address the academic and discipline problems of Black male youth within the Knoxville community