The Seeds That Grew Roots

Caleb (Class of 2004), Seth (Class of 2005), and Asa (Class of 2010) de Armas

When you are a child, the sports you play, the classes you take, or even how your parents choose to raise you do not have much impact on you at the precise moment it occurs. The de Armas brothers, Caleb (Class of 2004), Seth (Class of 2005), and Asa (Class of 2010), know now that the seeds that were planted during their individual experiences as students of The First Academy have grown roots that are now fully established and thriving. 

The de Armas brothers spent most of their academic careers at The First Academy, Caleb attending for 12 years, Seth attending for 13 years, and Asa attending for 11 years. Seth proudly boasts of being a “TFA Lifer” and “the winner” amongst his brothers, starting at First Orlando’s Moms-Day-Out program before becoming a 13-year TFA Senior. The brothers shared experiences during their school days on the soccer field, in the classroom, with Caleb serving as student body president, and more. Seth shared, “Our dad was even our soccer coach for a time. I remember him getting to the field and having to change out of his business attire for practice quickly.” 

Caleb de Armas (Class of 2004)

Further memories of campus involvement and special teachers also shaped the boys’ childhood memories. Mr. Siler, former TFA History teacher, helped instill a love of history in Caleb, who went on to get a Master’s Degree in History from Liberty University after serving in the United States Army for 13 years. Mr Kowars, a former TFA English teacher, fostered a love of reading in Asa and his classmates. “We became obsessed with reading. We would talk about it outside of school, even when we weren’t working on homework. I remember a group of us went to hear an author speak on our own accord because Mr. Kowars changed many of our outlooks on reading.”

Seth shared that when he got to The University of Florida, one of his English professors told him that he had written the best paper he had ever read from a student. “I never felt like I was a good writer, but we were held to such a high standard at The First Academy that I was more than prepared, and I didn’t even know it!” 

Seth de Armas (Class of 2005)

Caleb, Seth, and Asa are now TFA parents – their 8 children between the three of them are all 2nd Generation Royals. The seeds of community and commitment that were planted all of those years ago are now blooming within each of their families. Seth shared, “What my brothers and I had and are now living out is the mixture of being involved in The First Academy with our parents being integrated into our lives and being plugged into church. We are all in a life group today with many TFA Alums and other TFA families” 

“I attended a high school in North Carolina for two years, and something that I missed while I was there was the TFA community. It’s something that my wife and I are blessed to be a part of and love about this school,” Asa shared. 

“Growing up, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. But now, being a parent and having those tough conversations about what is going on in the world, I am more than grateful to have the institutional support of TFA backing what my wife and I are teaching at home,” Caleb shared. 

“Building successful Christian leaders and sowing the seeds of becoming committed servant leaders starts early at The First Academy. I learned as a student that leadership doesn’t always mean being the captain or president, but it goes beyond that to how you will lead in the different areas of your life,” said Seth de Armas.

Asa de Armas (Class of 2010)

Today, Caleb works in the paint industry following his time in the United States Army. Seth graduated with his accounting degree and now works for Orlando Health. Asa followed Seth’s Accounting Footsteps and is now the CFO for Jr. Davis Construction Company. 

The de Armas brothers shared that a pillar of their families’ lives is based on participation as a way of life. A memorized mission statement from many moons ago still is producing fruit far beyond the initial seed that was planted.