California school finds renewed hope after changing name to Barack Obama Academy (video)

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Oakland, CA – Some students in California find renewed hope with a simple change to their school’s name. A ceremony was held Saturday in Oakland for the newly named Barack Obama Academy.

The school is designed to help students who’ve struggled academically. The middle school used to be called “alternative learning community” a name which some students felt stigmatized them.

So they fought to get the name change and now both students and staff members say they feel inspired. “I want to make people think that just because my school is named an alternative learning community, make them not think that I’m just about getting in trouble. I’ve got hope, and I’ve got change,” said student Alahjawon Morton.

“Unbelievable, for what it’s done for our students’ motivation and self-esteem, their self-image. They’re really trying to emulate the president, ” Principal Toni McElroy added.

The school is one of the first in the country named after the president.