Meet Success Academy's Zackhery Facey: The journey from special education to Harvard

Zackhery Facey’s journey to the Ivy League wasn’t linear. He was a special education student in Bronx public school.   

Ashley Mastronardi

Mar 12, 2024, 11:36 PM

Updated 133 days ago

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Hello Harvard! That’s where Bronx native and Success Academy senior Zackhery Facey is headed.
Facey has had his eye on Harvard since he was in elementary school. He says he was inspired by President Barack Obama, who attended Harvard Law School.
“Seeing him in a position where he was just like me, and he was able to rise above and...have important decisions on the world,” Facey told News 12 New York. 
But Facey’s journey to the Ivy League wasn’t linear. He was a special education student in Bronx public school.    “There’s a teacher there and she said 'your son, he’s very smart...I’ve been teaching a long time, and this is not the place for him,'” Facey’s mom, Tanya Blackwood, told News 12. 
Enter Success Academy. Zackhery transferred over in the third grade and joined the Sprint program, which provides extra support for students. And he soared – getting involved in debate and photography. He’s staying mum about his SAT score, but his mom said it was high. She says he has a 4.0 GPA.   
“I saw the first word congratulations and I was like - I was in shock, I was like - oh my gosh, I actually got into Harvard,” Facey recalled. “It was just a crazy moment to know that all of the hard work, all of the time I spent studying, doing my extra curriculars paid off,” he said.  Facey hopes to become a lawyer and open his own school one day. He will start Harvard in the fall. His mom says his 10-year-old sister, who also attends Success Academy, has aspirations to attend Harvard too. 


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