Helen Y. Davis with Jacqueline Kennedy


Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy is a tuition free charter public school, located in the historic Fields Corner neighborhood of Dorchester. The Academy serves 216 students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Since its founding in 2003, DLA has established itself as the #1 middle school for culture-based education.

The Academy is named in honor of the late Mrs. Helen Y. Davis, a prominent African-American business leader who embodied the Academy’s core values. She was a role model for Boston’s African-American community during the time of civil upheaval in the late 1960s.

Mrs. Davis graduated from Fisk University and in 1967 she became the sole operator of Davis Funeral Home. She ran the business until she retired in 2001 at 90 years old. During her years of operating the business, she became a well-respected pillar of the community by ensuring that every family received a proper burial for their loved ones, regardless of their ability to pay.

Mrs. Davis was also a selfless community worker having spent countless hours giving back to local organizations such as the Freedom House, the Harriett Tubman House and the United Way of Eastern Massachusetts to aid in the empowerment of the area’s youth.

In honor of her legacy, the Academy serves over 200 of Boston’s underserved and marginalized inner-city youth and develops them into high-achieving students of good character who use problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills to inspire others.


The mission of Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy Charter Public School is to develop high achieving students of good character who use problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills to inspire others and to catalyze educational, economic and political advancement within their communities and the broader nation.


The Academy’s vision is to ensure every student can compete in an ever evolving society.

Our vision includes expanding the Academy’s current infrastructure to become a full service community hub. This will be accomplished by expanding our current grade offerings to include a 5-8 middle school and 9-12 high school, upgrading our facilities to offer state of the art functionality, and offer premium programming in education, the arts, and athletics.