Graduating high school is not only a rite of passage for a teenager, it’s also of critical importance to success as an adult. For a student, failing even one class can create a ripple effect of consequences that can prevent graduation. It can be especially difficult to bounce back if you’re a teen who is living in poverty.
Many people don’t know that summer school comes with a hefty fee. Even students enrolled in the federal free and reduced-price lunch program must pay on average $192.00 per class for a chance at credit recovery. This fee is out of reach for many families living in poverty.
Bellevue LifeSpring’s Grads-On-Track program provides Bellevue high school students who are living in poverty with scholarships to recover credit through online or summer school courses allowing them to stay on track to graduate. By providing the opportunity to make up a class, Grads-On-Track puts on-time graduation within reach for every student in Bellevue. In 2018, 3% of Bellevue’s high school graduates had received a Grads-On-Track scholarship.
Here is one story that reflects the impact a Grads-on-Track scholarship can make on a teenager in need:
Like many of our Grads-On-Track scholarship recipients, Amy is a smart, bright and creative student who works hard in and out of school.
Amy has more responsibilities than your typical carefree 16-year-old. With her mother earning only $2,000 per month, Amy must work a part-time job after school to help bring in income for the family. On top of juggling a job and school, she often has to care for her younger siblings while their mom is at work.
Amy rarely gets to hang out with her friends or indulge in creative hobbies because by the time she is done with her responsibilities, it is late in the day. All this responsibility leaves little time and energy for her own school work, so it’s no shock that Amy fell behind in two of her core classes needed for graduation.
Amy told us that when she failed her classes it felt like hitting rock bottom. Her mom didn’t know how they were going to pay the credit recovery fee for one, let alone two courses. When a counselor told Amy about Bellevue LifeSpring, it was like a light at the end of the tunnel. She had a second chance to get back on track.
Thanks to your support, 181 students like Amy are receiving Grads-On-Track scholarships this summer. Your generosity provided these students with a chance to recover credit necessary for their graduation. Simply passing a class can mean a step closer to pursuing higher education, starting fulfilling careers and continuing on the pathway out of poverty.