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Eagle Academy PCS Unveils Documentary, Honoring Founders and Marking 20th Anniversary

Destiny Concealed chronicles Eagle Academy's unique founding and honors late co-founder Cassandra S. Pinkney.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Eagle Academy Public Charter School today announced the release of Destiny Concealed, a documentary film honoring its founders and marking its 20th anniversary. Eagle's inaugural campus was established on M Street Southeast in 2003 with 114 students. After rapid expansion, a second location opened its doors a few blocks away on New Jersey Avenue Southeast in 2010. Today, Eagle operates two state-of-the-art campuses in the Congress Heights and Capitol Riverfront neighborhoods of Washington, D.C., bettering the lives of hundreds of children across the city.

Destiny Concealed not only pays tribute to the countless staff, parents, and community members who molded a generation of Eagle Academy students, but it also highlights the immense contributions of its late co-founder Cassandra S. Pinkney. Ms. Pinkney co-founded Eagle alongside Dr. Joe Smith in 2003. "She was a superwoman," Dr. Smith insisted, "She raised a child with special needs on her own after losing her partner to the Vietnam War," he continued. "But, she felt D.C. public schools were lacking, especially in the majority Black communities east of the river, and that there was a real need to get kids in school earlier to set them on the right course for the rest of their lives." He concluded, "I am honored to have played a small part in making her dream a reality."

Ms. Pinkney's only surviving child, Onari Jackson, recounted her mother and Dr. Smith's unstoppable allyship in the film. As a Black woman with ties to the community, Ms. Pinkney "could get into rooms that he couldn't," and, as a white man with extensive experience in the charter school space, Dr. Smith "could get into rooms that she couldn't and sometimes it would take for them to go into those rooms separate[ly] and once they were appreciated and understood in that room then bringing the other person in…"

Although the story of Destiny Concealed has been two decades in the making, it was only when the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down that Eagle's leaders had time to stop and reflect on the immense impact of Ms. Pinkney, who passed away unexpectedly in 2016. Subsequently, over a 16-month period, a small but mighty five-person production team executed 44 interviews with Eagle staff, community members, local activists and politicians as well as attended numerous school events to capture the lasting legacy of its late founder.

"As a minority-woman founder myself, I took great pleasure in telling the story of Eagle and, by extension, the story of Cassandra," Insite Media founder and Destiny Concealed director Cheryl Montalvo relayed. "While Cassandra won't get to see this film for herself, this documentary ensures her legacy lives on forever. I cannot wait to share it with the world."

Destiny Concealed will be screened to members of the Eagle community on October 28, 2022, at THEARC Theater in Southeast Washington, D.C. Additionally, Destiny Concealed has been submitted and is in consideration at several film festivals across the country, with plans for additional submissions in 2023.

About Eagle Academy

Eagle Academy Public Charter School was founded by Cassandra S. Pinkney, Dr. Joe Smith, and a diverse group of education, business, and medical leaders in 2003. Eagle Academy was Washington, D.C.'s first charter school focused on early childhood education that also catered to children with special needs. Other defining features of Eagle include an on-site pool and swimming lessons for every student, a sensory room for students with special needs, and a "Dean of Positive Behavior." Eagle operates two campuses in Washington, D.C.'s Congress Heights and Capitol Riverfront neighborhoods. The school will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023.

About Insite Media Network

Insite Media Network is a minority woman-owned company boasting a team of creative media professionals with extensive experience in film, broadcast television, radio, and music serving North America, North Africa, and the Middle East. Insite was established to fill a gap in the market for affordable video production services for news gathering outlets, small businesses, NGOs, PR firms, and startups. Traveling domestically and internationally to fulfill client needs, the Insite Media Network team of videographers, photographers, and graphic artists always go above and beyond to deliver high quality content for clients.

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