2022 Q2 Pathways Quarterly Magazine

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Acceleration Academies

Summer | 2022

Offering a flexible,

personalized path to

success in high school

and life beyond.

You can graduate.

We can help.

16 Locations in Six States

Across the U.S.


Escambia County

» North Pensacola

» Northwest Pensacola

Marion County

Miami-Dade County

» Homestead

» Miami

St. Lucie County

» Port St. Lucie

» Fort Pierce

Sarasota County

» North Sarasota

» South Sarasota




Clark County

» North Las Vegas

» East Las Vegas

» Southeast Las Vegas


North Charleston


Ector County


Bethel School District

...with more opening soon

in Georgia!

network by the numbers

Our students (who we call graduation candidates) come from all

backgrounds and experiences. They include learners who struggle in

a traditional school setting, need additional one-on-one support or work

jobs that don’t fit with a traditional school day. Some are young parents;

new Americans learning English; or students who faced bullying, racism

or social anxiety in larger schools. Some are managing medical conditions;

others want to accelerate their studies, graduate early and move on to

college, trade school, the military or professional sports careers. Whatever

your circumstances, Acceleration Academies is here to help you










SINCE 2014








myIncite: our new custom portal

supports student Success


LAA math coach shares her







First WAA grad celebrates long


ECAA grad got a second chance for


At BAA and ECAA, success found

with individualized attention and

calm environment

SAA grad credits mentors

and coaches for support and


CCAA student excels in CTE

internship program







appreciate the support of

their content coaches and

GC advocates

EAA helps teen parents

learn and grow

SLAA grad let his faith be

bigger than his fear

Scenes from the academies

Class Notes: news from all



© July 2022


Lisa Meckley


Jeffrey Good


Sarah Campbell

Jeffrey Good

Drew Perine

Hali Schaefer

Annie Shaw

Diana Solis

Rochelle Strack

Andrew Whitaker

myIncite: Our New Custom Portal

Supports Student Success

Behind the scenes at our 16 academy locations, our network

team remains laser-focused on ensuring that our graduation

candidates (GCs) — and the staff members that support

them — have the tools they need to succeed. One such

tool recently rolled out to our GCs. myIncite is Acceleration

Academies’ new, custom student portal and it gives GCs

access to everything they need to #OwnTheirSuccess.

Today’s teens have the world at their fingertips. Now, with myIncite, GCs have unparalleled access to their

educational goals and other resources to enable success—all from the click of a button. myIncite is a

comprehensive suite of digital tools, designed to give actionable insights to our GCs. These tools provide

motivation and structure for our GCs through communication, organization and data.

With myIncite, GCs can:

» Keep track of their progress towards graduation and see how many credits they have remaining

» See progress and grades for active courses

» Directly access their online courses

» Chat with their Graduation Candidate Advocate (GCA) and Content Coach (CC)

» Collaborate with other GCs and stay involved through discussion boards and digital classrooms

GCs aren’t the only ones who benefit from myIncite. Staff members, including GCAs and CCs, have access as

well. Through myIncite, they can communicate with GCs, create digital classrooms, gain insight into student

progress and more. Feedback about myIncite from both students and staff is overwhelmingly positive.

6 Pathways Magazine | Summer 2022

Ricardo Burciaga:

First Wichita Grad Celebrates Long Journey to His Diploma


By any standard, Ricardo Burciaga

had a long commute to school.

Even as he pursued his high school

diploma at Wichita Acceleration

Academies, Ricardo also held down

a full time construction job — three

hours away in Kansas City.

By virtue of his hard work and the

flexible, personalized help provided

by the team of educators at WAA,

Ricardo found success. In late May,

he became the new school’s firstever


“I never thought I’d get this

done,” Ricardo marveled as family

members and educators gathered to

celebrate his achievement.

Ricardo realized his goal just shy of

his 21st birthday. Looking back at

his decision to drop out three years

earlier, he said he has changed. “I’m

not going to lie to you. Back then, I

didn’t care about school. I didn’t care

about nothing,” he said.

“I feel like I became a

better person.”

A variety of factors led him to drop

out. His then-girlfriend got pregnant

with their daughter, Victoria, and

Ricardo felt the pressure to get a

job and provide. And he felt little

attachment to a school where it

seemed like he was just a number on

the attendance log.

“You’d ask a teacher for help but

you’d have to wait” due to the large

number of other students. He tried

online school for a while, but found

he had a hard time overcoming his

tendency to procrastinate. And when

he stumbled on the material, “You

could never ask a teacher, ‘What

does this mean?’ ”

As his 21st birthday approached,

though, Ricardo decided that he

needed a diploma to begin building

the life he wants. He searched

for a school that offered him the

scheduling flexibility that would

allow him to hold onto his job and

study in his off-hours, but also offer

the one-on-one support he needed to


He found that combination at WAA.

“Here, there is always somebody

to help you,” he said. “Even if they

aren’t your teacher, they help. They

want you to succeed.”

“Here, there is always

somebody to help

you,” he said. “Even

if they aren’t your

teacher, they help.

They want you to


RICARDO RICARDO | Construction | WAA Worker Grad

Pathways Magazine | Summer 2022 7


Josiah Gadia:

“A Second Chance to Get My Education”

Not so long ago, Josiah Gadia feared

he would never earn his high school


Today, he’s being celebrated by family, friends

and educators as the first-ever graduate of

Escambia County Acceleration Academies.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to

do,” he said. “But once Acceleration

Academies was introduced to me, it

just clicked.”

After dropping out of his previous school to work

full-time, Josiah felt a fleeting sense of relief.

“After you drop out, you get a sense of freedom:

‘Oh, I don’t have school anymore,’ ” he said. “But

after a while it gets a little old.”

He found out about ECAA, which works

in partnership with the Escambia County

Superintendent Dr. Timothy A. Smith, Director

of Alternative Education Kerri L. Coots and their

team to provide a flexible, personalized path to


Josiah would like to

study video game

and graphic design

in college, with help

from a U.S. Navy


Josiah saw it as “a second chance to get my

education and finally get my life back together.”

He liked that he could take one

course at a time, focusing on one

subject before moving on to the

next. “I can work at my own pace. It

allows me to understand things at

the speed I want.”

His focus wavered when he first began, but he

said that educators including graduation candidate

advocate Cordivido Grice provided warm-butfirm

encouragement. Academy coaches also

helped him sort through the personal challenges

— including anxiety, depression and family issues

— that sometimes got in the way.

“Sometimes I have things on my mind and I need

somebody to talk to,” said Josiah. “Even though

I’m 20 now, I’m still not that far out from being a

teenager, so I still have confusion in some aspects

of my life.”

He’s clear about his dreams.

In addition to working on his

songwriting career, Josiah would like

to study video game and graphic

design in college, with help from a

U.S. Navy scholarship rooted in his

grandfather’s service.

What advice would he give to other struggling

students? Find a school program that works for

you, and then do the work. “If you’re not doing

it for someone else, do it for yourself, rather than

not doing it and regretting it later on in life.”

“If you’re not

doing it for

someone else,

do it for yourself,

rather than not

doing it and

regretting it later

on in life.”

JOSIAH | Aspiring Video Game Designer

Erika Meneses and Kendall Mast:

Success Found With Individualized Attention and Calm Environment




When Erika Meneses first walked into Bethel

Acceleration Academies, she barely recognized it

as a school. And that was a good thing. At her old

school, “it was very crowded, very distracting.”

At BAA, she found a world apart — soft light, comfy

cafe-style chairs, and a choice between studying

in an area with other graduation candidates or

finding a corner of her own.

“At Bethel Acceleration Academies, you can

work in peace.”

But she never felt alone. She credits educators

there — including graduation candidate advocate

Jessica Jaramillo, math content coach Ben Hanks

and ESE coach Stacy Nicholaisen — with giving

her just the right blend of encouragement and


And now she’s a graduate, aiming for a career in

the U.S. military.


Like many Acceleration Academies students,

17-year-old Kendell Mast had a hard time

thriving in a large, crowded high school. It was

too easy to fall behind in her coursework and

feel lost in the crowd.

When her father’s Navy job brought her family

from Washington State to Pensacola, Florida

last year, she says, “I thought it would be better

to go to a small school where I could go at my

own pace. I thrive in smaller environments.”

She found the environment she was looking for

at Escambia County Acceleration Academies.

Here, she’s benefiting from a quiet learning

space, ample academic and personal support

— and a community of peers who also embrace

the flexible, non-traditional school.

“It’s made me more confident in myself.”

“I was so happy,” she says of finding BAA. “I wish

I had found it sooner.”

10 Pathways Magazine | Summer 2022


Sarasota Grad Tyler Marcoaldi:

Moving from Dropout to Successful Grad

During the final half of his senior year at Sarasota High,

Tyler Marcoaldi simply gave up. He had a full-time

job, was covering his own bills and thought he could

“He’s always been mature, but in the last year, leaps and

bounds,” says Hayes. “I know he always had it, but he’s

shocked me with the young man he’s become.”

do just fine without a diploma. So he walked away.

Tyler said he was never the type to spend long hours in a

“I had already made my mind up I wasn’t getting a

diploma,” says Tyler, 19.

traditional classroom listening to teachers lecture. He’s

a quick study and likes to work at

a quicker pace — but he also appreciates

But then he heard about Sarasota

Acceleration Academies,

which provides a flexible

the one-on-one support

provided by SAA educators when

challenges arise.

schedule and personalized approach

to students like Tyler,

who could no longer fit a traditional

school day into a schedule

that included working fulltime

as a mechanic at Toyota.

Curtis Hayes & Tyler Marcoaldi

Tyler credits Hayes with getting

to know him as a human being as

well as a student; social studies

coach Angelik Byrd with working

with him to master complex topics;

and coach Fred Thomas with helping prepare him

And now, he has walked across the graduation stage for the ACT exam.

and claimed his diploma. Among those celebrating will

be Curtis Hayes, the SAA graduation candidate advocate

who told Tyler about Acceleration Academies in

“Everybody here’s really helpful,” he says. “They know

we’re smart and will do the work.”

the first place.

Did you know...

We call our students

“Graduation Candidates”

(GCs) to remind them

every day of the reason

they are working so hard.

Our proprietary Graduation

Persistence Index allows us to

assess non-academic factors

known to impact student

success, providing an important

guide for customizing each

student’s learning plan.

Upon entry into our

program, GCs take a

career interest survey so

we can begin mapping

out their future career

and education plan.

Pathways Magazine | Summer 2022 11

Alizeah Jones:

Taking Advantage of

Nevada Help Desk Internship

Program Opportunity

At 16, Alizeah Jones already has a clear sense

of how she’d like her life to unfold. She just

needed a school that would allow her to move

at the fast pace that, for her, works best.

At a traditional high school, Alizeah felt

stymied by classes that, by necessity,

needed to move at a pace appropriate for all

students. “I wanted to graduate faster and I

knew if I could do it at my own pace, I could

do it.”

Transferring to Clark County Acceleration

Academies (CCAA) has allowed her to excel. In

addition to acing at her regular coursework,

she was selected to participate in a new

partnership to prepare students for jobs in the

booming field of digital marketing.

Alizeah is one of 20 graduation

candidates from CCAA to participate

in the Nevada Help Desk CyberTeens

60 Internship program led by Dr.

Duana Malone, aka “The Tech Queen.”

The partnership is a pilot program

of Acceleration Academies’ growing

Career and Technical Education (CTE)


Recently, Alizeah became the first student

in Nevada to earn the Facebook Community

Manager certification, which trains social

media managers in developing marketing

content and engaging users online.

“We are so proud of all that Alizeah has

accomplished,” says CCAA Director Wendy

Thompson. “She was the first student in the

state of Nevada to earn the new certification

ALIZEAH | Facebook Certified

for social media. At 16 years old, her fierce

determination, strong commitment to her high

school studies and great habits of practice are

helping her soar to new heights.”

Every morning, Alizeah and other students gather

at Las Vegas City Hall to learn digital skills, work on

their projects and hear from inspirational speakers.

Alizeah has dreams of going to culinary school

and opening her own restaurant on the Las Vegas

Strip. While digital marketing was not an area that

she had previously explored, she decided to seize

the opportunity to join the first-ever class in the


She loves it. She is working with a digital marketing

12 Pathways Magazine | Summer 2022


“Never block your

own blessing.

If there is an

opportunity that is

presenting itself to

you, take it. ”

to work in paid internships and, if those go

well, to qualify for jobs with employers such

as MGM, Facebook, Google and others.

She’s glad she enrolled at CCAA, and grateful

to have the opportunity to gain new skills and

insights in a field she might not otherwise

have considered.

Through the Help Desk program, she

and other students were also able to gain

inspiration from guest speakers including a

filmmaker who had grown up in a rough part

of Miami and shared his story of choosing the

right path for himself and doing the work

needed to achieve his dreams.

“He just talks about how to surround yourself

with the right people,” says Alizeah. “He

says, ‘If you don’t value yourself, nobody’s

going to value you.’”

strategy group to build a Facebook page for

Wendell P. Williams, a former Nevada state

lawmaker, founder of the Dr. Martin Luther King

Committee of Las Vegas, radio talk show creator

and educator. “We’re creating a digital legacy for

him,” she says.

She’s also working on a Wikipedia page for

Dr. Malone, a prominent tech entrepreneur

committed to creating opportunities for young

people who might not otherwise get them.

“She’s amazing,” Alizeah says. “She’s very


Succeeding in the Help Desk coursework positions

Alizeah and her fellow learners to put their skills

What advice would she offer other young

learners who are trying to chart their futures?

“Never block your own blessing,” she says.

“If there is an opportunity that is presenting

itself to you, take it.”


Academies is

proud to partner

with these


for digital


internships and



Math Coach Sarah Aquino: Making LGBTQ Learners Feel Welcome

The educators at Lowcountry Acceleration

Academy work hard to create an environment

where all feel welcome.

From the gender-neutral bathrooms to the

question “Which pronouns do you prefer?” —

graduation candidates who identify as lesbian,

gay, bisexual, transgender or queer feel instantly

at home.

And when they meet their math coach, Sarah

Aquino, they see a living example of an adult

who is thriving as her authentic self.

“Seeing their lesbian math coach have her

wife and kids come in some days, that’s so

empowering,” says Sarah. “That’s what Pride

looks like.”

As Acceleration Academies celebrates Pride

Month around the country, Sarah celebrates a

non-traditional school that works hard to treat all

GCs as the individuals they are.

“When you walk through here, there are so

many different types of GCs,” she says. “That is so

calming for GCs who are anxious, gay, or straight

or transgender.”

Sarah married her wife, Danielle, in 2018, and

they have 2-year-old twins, Jaxson and Addison.

Danielle is an elite-level volleyball coach and Sarah,

a standout athlete herself, has long coached

soccer, hockey and lacrosse.

In the academic realm, her passion is math, a

subject in which she’s always been “weirdly

good.” For high schoolers who find it a struggle,

she tries to break it down into understandable

chunks to build confidence.

In college, she briefly toyed with the idea of a

career in actuarial science. But after student

teaching, she knew she had found her path.

“I like numbers but I like people more. I could never

sit in a cubicle all day and crunch numbers,” Sarah

says. After being in the classroom, “I thought ‘This

is where I belong.’”

14 Pathways Magazine | Summer 2022


Kimberly Morris: Looking Forward to the Open Road Ahead

Kimberly Morris says there was

never really any question about

her sexual identity. “I never

liked boys — always knew.”

In public, some people

misgender her, she says. ”I’m a

girl that comes off masculine

and I get misgendered as a


But at Clark County

Acceleration Academies,

educators and fellow

graduation candidates know

her for her full self and make

her feel fully supported.

“All the coaches are so helpful,”

she says. “The help that

Acceleration Academies gives

is one-on-one.”

Kimberly, 18, says the

program’s flexible scheduling

is crucial.

She works at the airport

helping disabled people get

around the terminal. With a

50-hour work week, she needs

the ability to do her coursework

during her off-hours. “I can log

in when I have some free time.”

When she can’t make it to

campus, she said social studies

content coach Alana Milich

is always willing to hop on a

video call and help her master

complicated concepts.

“That was really helpful

because I couldn’t make it

[in to the academy] due to

my work,” she says. “At most

schools you don’t get that kind

of help.”

After graduation, Kimberly

plans to earn her commercial

driver license and become an

interstate trucker. She loves

the feel of being at the wheel

of a powerful rig, and the

freedom offered by the open

road. She knows her road will

be smoother with a diploma in


“A high school diploma is one

of the main things you need to

have a good-paying job.”

Miami Grad Rufus Wallace: ‘They Kept Me Going’


When Rufus Wallace was at a traditional public school,

he struggled to maintain focus. And with so many other

students, it was hard for his teachers to provide the kind

of one-on-one help he craved.

Transferring to Miami-Dade Acceleration Academies, he

found just that. “All the teachers, they saw something in

me that I didn’t see in myself,” says Rufus, who recently

graduated and is planning on enrolling in trade school.

“They were the gasoline to my car. They kept me going.”

Particularly helpful was graduation candidate advocate

Nadi Sambrana, who urged him back on track when he

lost momentum.

Sometimes, he acknowledges, the love had to get tough.

“Even at times when I was ready to give up, she said,

‘Don’t worry, I’m always going to be here to support

you,” he says. “She was like a parent. She was on me.”

Rufus Wallace & Nadi Sambrana

Pathways Magazine | Summer 2022 15

Helping Teen Parents

— and Their Children —

Learn and Grow

There are currently 27 EAA graduation candidates in the teen parent

program. Rather than becoming dropouts, they are becoming

proud high school graduates.

At Acceleration Academies of Ector County,

educators care not only for their enrolled

graduation candidates but also the most special

people in the GCs’ lives — their children.

EAA educators work in partnership with

the Ector County Independent School

District’s Teen Related Parenting

Services program to support young

parents with services such as free

day care, transportation, help

with government benefits, and the

opportunity to participate in “Dad

U” and the “Beach House” facility

for moms to nurse their babies

while on campus.

“It’s that collaboration that makes

the program unique,” says EAA Life

Coach Maya Cotton.

The partnership is critical to young mothers and

fathers who might otherwise miss the opportunity

to earn their diplomas, says Alicia Syverson,

Assistant Superintendent of Student and School

Support at the district.

The challenge is particularly steep in an area of

Texas where the oil industry provides high-paying

jobs that young parents — fathers, in particular —

take to support their families. “It’s hard for some

of these kids to decide between making almost

six digits in some cases or getting their high

school diplomas.”

Syverson is an Odessa native, veteran

educator and mom who’s seen the boomand-bust

cycle of oil jobs. She and

her fellow educators want to make

sure young people have a diploma

to secure their futures even when

those jobs go away.

With the ECISD/EAA program,

they can work full-time, complete

their studies on a flexible schedule

and get the parent services they need,

says Syverson.

“We are producing the future leaders, the

future workers in this area, so we have to make sure

we are providing all the supports they need to be


16 Pathways Magazine | Summer 2022


Alexis Lagrone is a 17-year-old

woman with a 1-year-old son, Maleek.

Traditional school didn’t work for

her for a variety of reasons, including

the difficulty she had balancing a

normal school schedule with her other


“I had a job, I had school and I

had a baby,” she says. “It was


At EAA, she found quiet learning spaces,

a schedule flexible enough to work

around her other responsibilities, and —

through the EAA/ECISD partnership —

ample support for her both as a student

and a young mom.

“Transferring to Ector

Acceleration Academies has

been the biggest blessing,” she

says. At the end of May, she completed

her coursework and earned the right

to graduate and pursue her dream of

becoming a nurse. “I have a 1-year-old

son who needs me and I have a diploma

waiting for me to grab it.”

Brian Argomaniz is another

young parent who found EAA to

be the perfect fit. With a 1-year-old

daughter, Sareena, and another

child on the way, Brian found

the academy’s flexible,

personalized learning

approach to be just right.

He had dropped out of traditional

school due to a lack of motivation.

But when his first child was born, he

realized a diploma was the

key to a brighter future —

including starting his own car wash


“I’ve got to have a better future for my

daughter and my son,” says the recent

grad. “I want them to be able to have

a good yard, a good house. I never

had my own room; I want

them each to have their own


Pathways Magazine | Summer 2022 17

Ja’Kerien Sutton: ‘I Just Let My Faith

Be Bigger Than My Fear’

During the first semester of his senior year at a

traditional high school, Ja’Kerien Sutton was on

track to graduate with his class.

But then an altercation with another student

turned ugly and — just like that — Ja’Kerien’s

dreams of graduating, going to college and

playing football in front of cheering crowds


“That one decision changed my high school

experience,” says the 18-year-old.

Unable to return to his old school, he began

looking into alternatives.

Wanting to earn a real diploma, he found his

way to St. Lucie Acceleration Academies, which

works in partnership with St. Lucie Public

Schools to provide a personalized path for

students who have struggled in other settings.

“Once they told me I could graduate on time, I

said, ‘I’m in.’ ”

Recently, he reached his goal, striding across

the stage to collect the diploma he had worked

hard to earn. And he couldn’t be more grateful to

the academy educators who helped him get his

studies — and his life — back on track.

From the day he walked in and saw a learning

18 Pathways Magazine | Summer 2022


space with comfortable seating and a studious

into manageable pieces and then showing how

atmosphere, Ja’Kerien knew this was a different

what he was learning could help him manage his

kind of school. No crowded hallways, no rows of personal finances, do his taxes and work toward

desks, and no worries about getting help when he his goal of some day opening a business.

needed it.

“He was patient and he took his time and really

just helped out a lot. He understood me a lot,

“I like it better than a regular high school. Even

which I really appreciated — even though I had

though there were other kids there, they really

him for a short period of time, he was one of the

took their time with each individual kid,” he says best math teachers I ever had.”

of academy educators. “They made it an at-home


Having earned his diploma and re-established

himself as a learner,

Particularly helpful

was math coach

Carson Senger.

When Ja’Kerien

learned he had two

math classes to

complete in order to

graduate, he recalls,

“I said there’s no

way I’m going to

“I like it better than a regular

high school...they really took

their time with each individual

kid,” he says of academy

educators. “They made it an

at-home feeling.”

Ja’Kerien has reconnected

with college

football coaches

and is hoping to win

admission to Bethune-

Cookman University or

another school this fall.

With help from Senger

and other SLAA

coaches, Ja’Kerien says

finish two math classes and graduate on time. I’m he learned a valuable lesson.

horrible at math.”

“Bad times don’t last forever, they really don’t,”

His coach was undaunted. He worked patiently

he says. “I just let my faith be bigger than my

with Ja’Kerien, breaking complex math problems fear.”

Did you know...

Acceleration Academies

is a tuition-free, nationally

accredited program!

Pathways Magazine | Summer 2022 19

Scenes from the Academies

Acceleration Academies celebrates our recent graduates!

20 Pathways Magazine | Summer 2022

Pathways Magazine | Summer 2022 21

Bethel, WA

A promising group of graduation candidates

(GCs) were chosen to help build a mentor program

with the local elementary school. Our

BAA mentors got a chance to be role models

for our younger students in the community,

build powerful relationships, and be founders

of a program that can continue to grow and

develop throughout the school district. We are

looking forward to continuing this program to

strengthen the leadership skills of our GCs for

many years to come.

— Alison Roseboro, Director

Clark County, NV

What we do here isn’t just about the diploma.

It’s about getting beyond the diploma to their

future desires and future hopes and to their best

life ever. And I think that is something about

us that I would want all students to know. We

care about them while they’re with us and we

care about them after they graduate. Once part

of the Acceleration Academies, always part of

it. It’s really wonderful to see our young people

take off and soar to new heights as a result

of the support and care that they get from our

dedicated staff.

— Wendy Thompson, Director

class notes

St. Lucie, FL

St Lucie Acceleration Academies celebrated

14 graduates on June 8, including a few EAR-

LY grads. It was great having so many young

people attend the ceremony and to have them

all back at the site for our traditional graduate

reception. We celebrate their success in high

school and look forward to their success in life.

— Paige Latham, Director

Miami-Dade, FL

We recently celebrated 38 amazing new graduates.

Each worked hard and had to overcome

significant barriers to experience this achievement.

We are so proud of their resilience and

hard work. Some decisions have minimal impact

on our daily lives, but others impact us

for a lifetime. The decision to earn their high

school diploma was a long term decision with

positive implications for our grads, their families

and their communities.

— Marcus Moore, Director

Sarasota, FL

Our GCs come from all over Sarasota County

seeking an opportunity to earn their high school

diploma in a flexible work environment with

caring and supportive staff members. More

than 30 new graduates will cross the stage

this August thanks to the collaborative efforts

of district, network and local team members.

Together, we will strive toward a 100 percent

graduation rate.

— Michelle Llinas, Director

Wichita, KS

Wichita Acceleration Academies is proud to

celebrate our first graduate. Ricardo Burciaga

completed his last course in April while working

12 hour days in construction. Determined

to finish, Ricky spent an entire Friday with

us — working past closing time — to get the

support he needed to cross the finish line. With

his diploma in hand, Ricky is now considering

applying to the Plumbers & Pipefitters Apprenticeship

Training of Kansas.

— Chris Turner, Director

Ector County, TX

This May, EAA celebrated our first group of

graduates with a Senior Legacy lunch. The

idea was to treat them to lunch and discuss

what they would like their legacy to be. We

asked them to leave words of advice or a lesson

learned to our future graduates. Very appropriately,

one of GCs Kezia Sosa invited

her mom to join her. Her mom was an integral

member of her dream team. At orientation,

we ask all GCs to identify their dream

team, people in their lives who support their

dreams. Keziah’s three simple words of advice

to incoming freshmen, “Never give up!”

— Virginia Hunt, Director

Escambia County, FL

We moved into a spacious new campus that

features open learning areas, comfortable

cafe-style seating, warm light and a studious

atmosphere. The new site located in Tradewinds

Plaza creates a welcoming space that invites

graduation candidates to spend a healthy chunk

of their time in a place where they can interact

with caring educators and coaches, get to know

classmates who are on similar journeys of selfdiscovery,

and join in the celebration every time

a GC completes a course and moves one step

closer to their dream of a diploma.

— Cindy Endicott, Interim Director

Lowcountry, SC

Lowcountry Acceleration Academy opened

its doors in August 2021. In less than a year,

we have seen 25 graduates receive their high

school diploma. The key to that success

is the persistence of the LAA staff and the

determination of our graduation candidates.

Throughout their educational journey at LAA,

students are not only completing courses to

obtain their high school diploma but also

developing the best coping mechanisms to

address the barriers that hinder success in school

and in life.

— Dr. Jacinta Bryant, Director

class notes

910 W Van Buren-Suite 315

Chicago, IL 60607




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