Within the span of two weeks, Simon Youth Foundation opened two new Simon Youth Academy spaces – one in Orlando, FL and one in Westminster, CA. Both Academy spaces will expand the capacity of existing successful programs. Both offer at-risk students a welcoming, state-of-the-art alternative high school setting. Both demonstrate the power of partnerships . . . and the Power of Orange.
In Orlando, SYF has partnered since 2001 with Orange County Public Schools and Simon Malls to operate a successful dropout prevention and recovery program. When the program outgrew its former site, Outlet Marketplace on International Drive stepped in to help create Simon Youth Academy at Outlet Marketplace. As the first student walked through the door for the first day of school on September 25, 2014, he exclaimed to his classmates, “Wow! This is the best school ever. Can you believe this is ours?”
In Westminster, CA, SYF has partnered with Huntington Beach Union High School District and Westminster Mall to operate a successful dropout prevention and recovery program since 2003. The new Simon Youth Academy at Westminster Mall will expand capacity to serve students at the mall, and now through an affiliated second site, Simon Youth Coast High School Academy.
Simon Youth Academy at Outlet Marketplace, Simon Youth Academy at Westminster Mall and Simon Youth Coast High School Academy will be among 22 Simon Youth Academies nationwide that exist to help at-risk students stay in school. To-date, SYF has graduated more than 12,000 students, awarded more than $12 million in scholarships and maintained a 90% cumulative graduation rate across all Academies.
In Orlando, the existing program has served more than 650 students, and Simon Malls in the Orlando area have awarded $234,000 to local college-bound high school students. In Westminster, the existing program has served more than 600 students, and Simon Malls in the Orange County, CA area have awarded $98,000 to local college-bound high school students.