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Every student is different; not every student learns the same. I did well throughout most of elementary school. However, once I hit the fourth grade, everyone suddenly started progressing while I felt stuck in place. Learning was just more challenging for me, and I struggled a lot. Despite my efforts, trying to learn in a class with 30-40 students and one teacher was impossible for me.

I felt very abandoned throughout a good portion of my educational journey. I moved around from school to school, but nothing ever changed. It seemed like the teachers had already decided that I wasn’t worth the effort they would need to put in to help me.

I had a rough time in my first year at the local high school, and I honestly felt like giving up on education altogether. But then, I heard everyone talking about the new school that had opened; everyone wanted to go. When I heard that the new school would be trade-focused, I immediately asked my parents to transfer me. I really hoped that this school would be different, and it was.

Elevate Academy opened at the beginning of my sophomore year, and I wish they had opened up sooner. I finally had an environment where I was prioritized, and because of that, I finally caught up to where I needed to be. I took construction, culinary, business, and criminal justice classes in my sophomore year. In my junior year, I picked the two trades I wanted to learn about for the next two years to get a certification upon graduation. I went with business and culinary — two trades perfectly set up for my future! Things were finally working out for me, and then I found out that my mom was sick.

In order to help her recover, we needed to go to another state for treatment. My mom has always been the one person I knew I could rely on; she is my rock. If I went to another state, I would miss school, and I wouldn’t graduate. I thought dropping out was my only option, but my English teacher refused to let that happen. Mr. Watson told me that I should focus on my family and that when I came back, they would start where we left off. I cannot explain in words how relieved I was at that moment.

I chose to attend Elevate because their trade program interested me. I chose to stay at Elevate because they cared for me as a person; I was not another name on the attendance sheet. My school refused to give up on me even when I had almost given up on myself.

The teachers and staff there want you to succeed not just academically, but in everything! Not only has Elevate given me the best education I could’ve experienced, but they also made me a better person. I became a more kind, more generous, and more open-minded person thanks to my school. When I graduated, I felt genuinely prepared for whatever would come next.

We’re a family, still, and we will be even five years from now. Even though I have now graduated, I could walk in those doors not having a clue what to do with the rest of my life, and there would be someone there for me, wanting to help me find my NEXT STEP!

No student should be forced to be in an educational environment that does not work for them. When choosing a school, you want to ensure your child is getting the time and education they need. You need to know that when you send your child to school every day, they are bettering themselves for their future. Making a decision on where your child goes to school should not be based on how much money you have, but on what the school can offer your child.


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