Founding Story

Our Academy was founded in memory of Adam J. Lewis.

Honoring Adam

Adam J. Lewis Academy was founded in memory of Adam Lewis, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Adam’s life was enhanced by hard work, perseverance, and an educational opportunity provided to him at a very young age.

It is the intention of the AJLA founders to give children in Bridgeport the same life-changing opportunity that Adam had, in a vibrant and exciting environment.

Through The Years

Adam J. Lewis Academy was established in 2011 as Adam J. Lewis Preschool, a not-for-profit early childhood center in the West End of Bridgeport. The Preschool’s founders, longtime educators Patty Lewis and Julie Mombello, recognized both the profound life impact of a high-quality preschool experience and the staggering disparities in access and opportunity across Fairfield County. They were determined to build a more hopeful, equitable future.

Guided by their expertise, Adam J. Lewis Preschool opened its doors to twelve children in 2013, in a revitalized West End property. Each child it served would honor the memory of Patty’s husband, Adam, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11 and whose life was transformed by education.

Over the course of five years, the program grew to its capacity of eighteen children and became a model of success in early childhood education—engaging students in an innovative, enriched, nurturing preschool environment and bridging the already-existent achievement gap.

With an enduring commitment to its students and families, in 2018, the school relocated to an expanded Downtown Bridgeport campus; welcomed its first Kindergarten class; and reopened as Adam J. Lewis Academy. Growing upward from its roots in preschool education, the Academy continued to grow each year by adding one grade annually until in the Fall of 2023 we now serve 150 students as a PreK-Grade 5 independent school of the highest caliber.

Plans for Expansion

With a desire to hold onto our students longer and make a deeper impact on the lives of our families, AJLA will continue its growth through 8th grade. With our entry point at PreK3, expanding through 8th grade will allow us to develop an 11-year relationship with our families and students. Following graduation in 8th grade, we will support and assist our students in finding high quality high schools. 

Our goal is to graduate students who can think critically, problem solve, have developed strong self-confidence as well as becoming lifelong learners spurred on by their natural curiosity and desire to further their education.