Adult Renewal Academy

A Faith Based, Holistic, Educational Program For Adults

The Adult Renewal Academy (ARA) is a faith based, holistic, educational program for adults located in our vulnerable Friendship House neighborhoods.  We provide students opportunities to improve their educational competencies, work towards receiving the equivalent of a high school diploma, learn Biblical values, and life and job skills, to help make a better life for themselves and their families.


The ARA started in 2003 with a vision of the director, Gloria Millender.  For years she has worked with an inner city ministry called Winner’s Circle.  Each summer hundreds of children are bused in, fed, loved, encouraged and trained to be leaders in their communities.  Year after year, many of these kids would come back troubled and hurting due to the brokenness in their families.  Gloria’s desire was to provide something for the parents and adults of these children to better their lives, where hope could be restored and families strengthened.  Ultimately, she hoped that the generational cycles that have gone on for decades in these communities would be broken.  The vision of the ARA is to provide a place in these vulnerable neighborhoods, where a driveway to the Friendship House could become a highway of hope for a better life!

The ARA has grown from one class in Cedar Grove in 2003, to currently 9 classes being held in our 5 Friendship House neighborhoods.  We are reaching a population that has been considered unreachable by some educators and local schools.  Our students range in age from 17 to 77. Fifty percent of the population we are reaching fall below the 3rd grade level in one or more subjects. The ARA has incredible staff and volunteers that stand alongside our students offering them encouragement, structure and an environment where they can grow and flourish. The joy of our leaders and teachers is to see our students succeed in every aspect of their lives.

Many of our graduates now give back to the ARA by volunteering, tutoring students and even donating their hard earned money to pay for another’s testing. Today our graduates are working in the medical field, hold management and ministry positions, in military service, attend institutions for higher learning and much more.

Contact Georgia Flook for more information.



The ARA changed my life, it taught me to be stable, on- time, and showed me that people could actually love you.  I’m enrolled in college now and plan to be a physical therapist.
– ARA Graduate


I’m a single mom with 3 boys. I have grown spiritually, have more faith, and I know I can accomplish anything I want.  After receiving my diploma, I enrolled in a university and have received three A’s and two B’s so far!  My experience with the ARA has been a life changing experience for me and my kids.  I’m now able to sit down and help my kids with their homework when they need it.
– ARA Graduate