A week ago, 5th, 8th, and 12th graders all across the city celebrated their graduation. For many, it was a great accomplishment. It also prepared them for the next steps in their lives – a new level of school, the first year of college, or the chance to pursue the careers of their dreams. For others, this day may have been a disappointment – held back a grade, no diploma, or low results.
We all understand that the results received this year are not an end, but a beginning for more developments.
At After School University – an education facility dedicated to the advancement of K-12 students in areas of Math, Physics, Computer Programming, and Languages – we see lives change all the time. Students make their current successes even bigger by learning disciplines no one thought they could learn at their age, or change their future by turning their weaknesses into strengths and passions.
Graduates of Harrison High School Preparatory Academy were able to do just that.
After School University partnered with the Harrison High School Preparatory Academy this past year to provide rigorous after-school classes in math and computer programming to 13 eighth-grade students who had been held back in August 2011 because their grades were not sufficient for high school.
As the students of the Academy were receiving their graduation diplomas, After School University was honored to be part of the students’ incredible growth. “Half of our students who went to After School University were able to earn proficient or advanced scores on their district assessments and therefore receive high school credit for those classes,” said Lyn McCarty, the principal of the Harrison High School Preparatory Academy.
“For whatever failure you had, today is a successful launch,” said Margo Hatton, Director of Development at the Space Foundation, and a keynote speaker at the Academy’s graduation ceremony on May 24.
The students proved that they could succeed with all of their hard work this past year. In a presentation students put together for graduation, they expressed their attitudes about school both before and after their year at the Academy and with After School University.
Illustrated through pictures of written-on whiteboards, the “before” boards were littered with words such as “angry,” “frustrated,” “disgraced,” and “embarrassed.”
The “after” boards stood in sharp contrast. Besides the improvements in reading, math, and science, which made the students more confident academically, the students’ abilities to rise up and meet the challenge of the past year gave them incredible boosts of self-confidence. In answer to the question of what they had learned, students reported higher levels of self-confidence: “I learned to keep trying and never give up” and “I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to.”
We are so proud of all the graduates in the Pikes Peak region. We hope the story of the Harrison High School Preparatory Academy’s graduates are as inspirational to all of you as they were to us.
You have graduated, but it is not the end of your road.
After School University
Helping students excel, graduate and become outstanding professionals.