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Kansas City, MO – The Transition Academy’s Kim Riley is honored to be named the 2023 EALA New Champion! Our passion for promoting equity in education has made us a champion for change. You can hear Kim explaining what this opportunity means to us at TTA here: 

EALA stands for Educating All Learners and is a partnership of 150 organizations run by InnovateEDU. The New Champion Fund supports those actively working with students with disabilities, especially students who come from underserved communities or poverty. As the 2023 EALA New Champion, The Transition Academy will receive a one-year $35,000 unrestricted sub-grant and mentorship to accomplish strategic goals. TTA is excited to use this funding to continue to make a positive impact! 

Here is what EALA said about TTA in its announcement:  

2023 EALA New Champion
The Transition Academy
Kim Riley, the founder of The Transition Academy, notes how the New Champions funding will support their work, “We plan to use the EALA New Champions award to purchase career discovery assessments designed by special education teachers that have photos of work skills in action and require little, if any, reading skills. We will pay teachers, who designed the assessments, to train us and purchase their assessments. We will also use the funding to pay stipends to black men who are recently or semi-retired to serve as program specialists. Black boys are overrepresented in special education but rarely interact with black teachers. We want to fill this gap by connecting them with black men who will teach hands-on job skills and serve as mentors.”

The Transition Academy (TTA) is a nonprofit organization with the mission to make economic inclusion a reality for youth with disabilities. Created to improve postsecondary outcomes for high school special education students in Kansas City Public Schools and charter schools, TTA supports young people with autism or developmental disabilities in exploring college or career options as they transition from school to life as an adult.

You can read more in the full official release here: 


Congratulations to this year’s runners-up, Antoinette Banks from Expert IEP and Nekia W. from Ujamaa Incorporated. Expert IEP is dedicated to positively preparing school-aged children to thrive in their communities, and Ujamaa Inc. is committed to promoting justice and healing.

It was an honor to be named with all of this year’s finalists who are doing such terrific work supporting students with disabilities, including students who are also marginalized, come from underserved communities, or experience poverty. We have nothing but respect for all the hard work you’re all doing. 
Learn more about the EALA New Champions Fund: https://educatingalllearners.org/new-champions/