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Academies in Action: Inspiring Second Chances

August 16, 2021 | Jeffrey Good
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Each month, we take a moment to learn from the educational leaders who are bringing the Acceleration Academies mission to life, day in and day out. This month, we asked our Academy Directors to respond to this prompt: Many students come to us in search of a second chance, not only to finish high school but also to set a positive course for their lives. What message do you and your team give them to inspire their efforts? Here is what they had to say.


At BAA we know that all our GCs are capable, and we are there to support them through every aspect of their lives. We try to instill in our GCs to believe in themselves, and that they can overcome challenges and be successful.

— Alison Hansen, Director, Bethel (WA)


At CCAA, we tell our GCs that everything they do matters. Whether it’s building a committed weekly schedule for working on their courses, responding regularly to their advocates’ outreach or coming into the CCAA Virtual School for assistance from the staff, they have control over their own educational trajectory. We work to develop that empowering mindset.

— Wendy Thompson, Director, Clark County (NV)


At ECAA, we believe that each achievement begins with opportunity. All GCs are given a wonderful opportunity to take charge of their future. It is our mission to support you and guide you down the path to graduation. It is a privilege to be part of your journey. Believe in yourself!

— Maria Jacobs, Director, Escambia County (FL)


I share with students the same message that was always used to motivate me during difficult periods of my life: Let your setback be your comeback. At LAA, we will remind students of how courageous they are by letting go of their setbacks in order to set themselves up for success which by the way is returning to school.

— Dr. Jacinta Bryant, Director, Lowcountry Acceleration Academy


You have joined not only a program, but a safe place of love and support. Earning a high school diploma represents the beginning of the rest of your life and your success won’t end there. We are here to help you be the best version of yourself that you can be, so don’t be afraid to dream big!

— Gina Montagnino-Fiske, Director, Miami-Dade (FL)


At SAA, we believe that failure is part of success. So, if traditional school did not work out as you planned, we have a great option for your future that has worked for1,000-plus other students, and we believe it will work for you, too.

— Monetta Ruskin, Director, Sarasota (FL).


At SLAA, we tell our students that they have the potential to be so much more than what they’ve been told or what they think they are. Everyday we try to instill in our students the idea that the accomplish their goals and that we will be there every step of the way, even after they graduate.

— Paige Latham, Director, St. Lucie (FL).