2014 Graduation Season Begins at Simon Youth Academies

By
In General
Graduation season begins today, May 1, 2014, as 34 students
at Simon Youth Academy at Independence Center in Independence, Missouri accept
their hard-earned diplomas! 
Many of these students questioned whether they would make it
to this day.  Hope had faded during their
difficult journeys, or perhaps it had been lost altogether. But something about
their character kept them moving forward. 
And along the way, SYF hopes they have come to realize that they are so
much more than the sum total of their circumstances or challenges.

These students possess true strength of character and
determination, and with a diploma in hand, they are no longer “at-risk.” Now,
they are “at-promise” for bright futures, because high school diplomas are more
than pieces of paper or checkmarks on life’s to-do list. Diplomas represent
gateways for opportunity – especially for youth who have reached graduation day
only after overcoming homelessness, abuse, illness, bullying and other significant
hurdles.

Without a diploma, these students would have automatically been
disqualified from 90% of available jobs in the national marketplace.  With a diploma, doors open for employment and
higher education, and earning potential for these graduates will be on-average
$350,000 more during their lifetimes than it will be for students who drop out. 

We know that every 29 seconds, a student in this country decides to
drop out of high school.  Today, in
Independence, Missouri, we are proud to know 34 graduates who made a different
choice – a better choice.  These students
now belong to an elite group of more than 11,000 Simon Youth Academy graduates –
many of them students who once believed a high school diploma was unattainable,
but who have gone on to attend college and pursue successful careers.

Congratulations to the first members of our Class of 2014! 

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