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'It's just giving back and opening doors for leaders' | St. Louis native opens prep school in Columbia

Students will most importantly leave with one of three things: an LLC, a sole proprietorship or a nonprofit organization

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Ever since Chantel Stanciel was a kid, he’s loved basketball and talking trash.

“Nothing’s changed," he said laughing. "I probably still spend most of my day talking stuff, like it’s bad.”

But not everything coming out of his mouth is bad... The kids consider it tough love. Stanciel is a former professional basketball player turned skills trainer who has dedicated a majority of his free time giving back to kids. 

“I’m one of those guys that always got a million ideas, I got an idea about this, I got an idea about that,” Stanciel said. 

Some of those ideas happen to linger in his head a little longer than others, kind of like his plan to help kids struggling to adapt during the pandemic. 

“I provided a space for kids to come in and train and do what we already do, but also receive tutoring,” he said. 

The day starts with some basketball training before the kids shift their focus to the classroom where tutors are on hand to help with their work. 

Seeing how successful the academic bubble went, Stanciel started talking a lot more, but this time he wasn't joking around. 

"I said let’s make a school, and everybody was like 'make a school?'" Stanciel said recalling his latest idea. "I’m like yeah, man! Let’s kind of change things."

Adapting to the coronavirus and the kids' need for physical activity, Stanciel drew up his best play yet. Creating Productive Rewards in Student Excellence, also known as P.R.I.S.E Academy.

“It's just giving back and opening doors for leaders,” Stanciel said. "They can look back say man P.R.I.S.E Academy helped and they really gave us the knowledge."

Students will not only get a hefty dose of basketball training, but they’ll also be educated on the core curriculum, and will most importantly leave with one of three things: an LLC, a sole proprietorship or a nonprofit organization. 

Stanciel a graduate of Columbia College and now an entrepreneur said his prep school is important to some kids because he doesn't think everyone needs to go to college to be successful. 

“The things that I learned in this business world I learned through trial and error and I feel like I didn’t have to wait until I was 23, 24 to learn those things and I know where I would be if I learned those things at 17 and 18," Stanciel said. 

P.R.I.S.E Academy is located in Columbia, Missouri and is now accepting kids from 9th grade to post-graduate.

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