Original article appears on Pensacola Today: http://pensacolatoday.com/2015/06/century-business-challenge-announces-winners/

East Hill Academy

East Hill Academy takes top prize at Century Business Challenge. From left to right: Carol Archie, coordinator of curriculum and instruction, Jan Soelzer, operations director, Barbara Barber, owner.
Photo courtesy of Mollye Barrows, on behalf of Pensacola Today and the Studer Community Institute.

New educational opportunities for children are coming to Century, thanks to the business challenge sponsored by Quint and Rishy Studer.

East Hill Academy was named as one of the winners, receiving $20,000 to help launch a satellite campus called Century Academy. EHA is a private, nonprofit school for K-12 students with autism and related learning disabilities that opened in Pensacola in 2002. The school opened a similar school in Milton four years ago. Owner and founder Barbara Barber says moving into Century has been a longtime goal.

“This has been something that has been brewing in the back of my mind since 2010,” said Barber. “The time wasn’t right then, but when the Century Business Challenge came up, that was my cue. If life has taught me one thing, if there’s an opportunity take it.”

“The location of Century Academy alongside the Head Start and PSC programs will help to create a ‘hub’ of educational opportunities for Century,” Barber said. “This will only increase the appeal to other employers looking to do business in the area.”

“We have identified nearly 400 children in the northern Escambia County, who could use the services we provide,” said Barber. “Some will be private pay, but any child with an “IEP” (Individualized Education Program) at their current school would be eligible for a scholarship that would cover tuition and fees.”

Barber plans to open Century Academy by August, 2016. She will hire and train four local teachers to work there.

Century Mayor Freddie McCall is thrilled with outcome and appreciative of the Studers for making the challenge possible.

“Thanks to Mr. Studer and his wife for stepping up to the plant and doing this,” said McCall. “We are excited and if there’s any way we can help these businesses, we are here.”