Apropos to the name of the event, love was the prevailing theme at the Visible Men Academy's annual Love Lunch, held Oct. 24 at Michael’s On East.
The theme pervaded everything, from heart-patterned clothing and "Love" artwork available for sale to hearts hanging from pictures of the academy’s students that adorned the ceiling around the stage.
During the luncheon, VMA Principal Janjay Gehndyu gave the keynote address, and he helped inspire the crowd by sharing the school’s mission of providing mostly low-income boys with a place that marries academic education with support to help them build character and social skills as well. To do that, as Gehndyu recognized, requires a loving, nurturing environment.
The school hopes to empower its students, which it refers to as “Suns,” with the knowledge and skills to pursue whatever they want for their lives and to give back to their community. A fifth grade class of “Suns” performed for the crowd, reciting their school creed and keys to success.