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Academy Announced (Press Release)

Updated: Aug 19, 2022

LEAD Prep Academy and Madonna University Partner to Offer Gap Year to Football Players.

The LEAD Prep Academy (LPA), a 13th year, post-high school, college prep academy for students who want to play football, will open in the Fall of 2023. In partnership with Madonna University and the Legacy Center Sports Complex, LPA will offer top-notch academic programs and first-class athletic training state-of-the-art facilities. The LEAD Prep Academy is a subsidiary of the LEAD Foundation, a non – profit 501c3 based in Michigan. This collaborative partnership will be the first of its kind in Michigan and the Midwest. The unique program is geared toward international and domestic high-school graduates who are seeking social, academic, and athletic development during a gap year between high school and college.

“We are extremely excited to open the Academy to student athletes from around the world. We are honored to combine the best of such a respected University as Madonna with the outstanding Legacy organization and athletic facilities. “Our goal is to provide a unique platform and environment that promotes the development of the whole student; in the classroom and in athletic competition, while helping each student-athlete to help each student–athlete achieve their academic and athletic goals,” said Justin Cessante, LPA Founder and Athletic Director.

Madonna University’s administrators are eager for LPA to start recruiting students for the program next year, “We foresee this developing into a feeder program for Madonna, where students can play football and pursue an education,” said Lewis Walker, Madonna’s interim provost and interim vice president for academic administration.

Once the football program gets established the partners anticipate expanding the LEAD Prep Academy to other sports.

The LEAD Prep Academy is a subsidiary of the LEAD Foundation, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization.

About Madonna: Liberal arts education, career preparation and service-learning have been the hallmarks of a Madonna University education for 85 years. In addition to the beautiful main campus, conveniently located at I-96 and Levan Road in Livonia, Madonna offers academic programs in Gaylord, Macomb, and online in China, Haiti and the United Arab Emirates. Michigan’s most affordable, independent, Catholic, liberal arts university, Madonna offers more than 100 undergraduate and 35 graduate programs in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Development, and Nursing and Health, as well as the School of Business.


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