The journey to creating the schools our children deserve

CityBridge Fellow Alex Brown with student

Alex’s journey to designing and opening Lee Montessori Public Charter School (PCS)—East End, the first full public Montessori east of the Anacostia River, began during a CityBridge Fellowship.

Alex had seen firsthand how the traditional education system was failing students, especially students of color. His vision was to create a diverse Montessori school that empowered students to learn in the context of freedom.

For support to execute his vision, Alex went back to where he started: CityBridge.
“CityBridge helped me connect the dots and opened doors. They helped me realize it can happen,” Alex says. By becoming a CityBridge Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Alex was able to access the coaching, support, and funding required to open Lee Montessori PCS—East End in 2019.

Alex and his team have intentionally created a space where students’ differences are not only accepted, but valued. For Alex, it is these differences among students that open a window to the world. “When students see that their peers speak differently, look differently, those things open a new window, a new perspective—sparking curiosity. For a child, this is where learning begins,” he says.

One year after opening, Lee Montessori PCS—East End is now serving 130 students in grades PK-3, PK-4, and Kindergarten. Their growing waitlist is a clear testament to the need and power of designing schools with equity and inclusion at the center.

Charity Name
CityBridge Education
Photo Caption
CityBridge Fellow Alex Brown
Photo Credit
Anne Marie Van Tassell