History & Mission
JLA was founded in 1995. In 1998, JLA was proud to create a partnership with Simon Youth Foundation (SYF), making JLA the first Simon Youth Academy in the country. Since its partnership, JLA has been able to expand twice (1998 and 2001). This helped increase its impact on students, in addition to providing students the opportunity to earn 2- and 4-year scholarships through SYF. As its flagship school, JLA has been afforded great benefits through its partnership with the SYF. With this continuous support, JLA has graduated over 2,000 students as of November 2019. This has been an increase in JLA's graduation rate from 61.1% during its first year, to 95.4% in 2019, according to the Texas Education Agency. JLA strives to continue to increase its enrollment and number of graduates yearly.
JLA’s founder, Beverly Oliver, wanted to address the issue of students hanging out at the mall instead of attending school. Therefore, she took the idea of a campus inside a mall to the Judson ISD board and received approval to open Judson Learning Academy (JLA).
Under the leadership of Beverly Oliver, with the assistance of others, JLA opened its door in August 1995 on the Judson High School campus temporarily, before relocating to its own space inside Rolling Oaks Mall in October 1995. JLA started with Ms. Oliver, who was the director, 2 teachers, and approximately 20 students. It was the first non-traditional campus in Judson ISD and in San Antonio.
In 1998, JLA created a partnership with Simon Youth Foundation (SYF) making JLA the first Simon Youth Academy in the country. Since its partnership, JLA has been able to expand twice (1998 and 2001) increasing its impact, in addition to providing students the opportunity to earn 2- and 4-year scholarships through SYF.
JLA started out as a campus that primarily focused on at-risked students, and has evolved into an educational environment whose mission is the academic and social emotional success of all learners.