success stories





It's not your average Friday morning in July at Ranson Middle School in Charlotte, NC. More than 100 scholars are sitting up straight, waiting for their name to be called and for a medal to be placed around their necks. Teachers, parents, siblings, friends, and school faculty look on. Ms. Anderson, a teacher, introduces the scholars in her class, who stand up and walk toward the podium. 

"Mr. Tyrell."

The crowd cheers, as it does for every scholar. Tyrell stands up with a broad smile on his face and does a little skip as he starts his stroll. He's had a great summer, and he's ready to enter the 8th grade in August. 

His father is excited to see his son engaged and looking forward to the new school year. "This has been a great experience for Tyrell - he's enjoyed engaging with his friends, going on field trips, learning different things," he explains. "The program has given him an opportunity to be himself, to be creative, and to get ready for the next grade, not just mentally, but socially as well. From this level, it only gets harder. The 9th grade sets a whole foundaiton for what you're going to do in high school. It's so critical - you have to be ready for the 9th grade, and you have to be ready to succeed. And you have to be ready to face things like peer pressure and all the social challenges kids face these days."

Ms. Anderson, Tyrell's teacher, explains the change she noticed in his attitude toward school and learning during the summer. "The first day we met, Tyrell thought that teachers didn't really understand him. Now, he's a lot more comfortable in the classroom, and he doesn't get upset that easily. Because he's able to focus better, he's been working a lot harder and taking learning more seriously. He's not afraid to ask questions anymore. And during the school year, I'll be teaching the 6th grade here at Ranson, so even though he's going into the 8th grade, he can come visit me and talk whenever he wants!"

Tyrell shares one thing he learned during the summer: "I learned that some of the things you do now have a huge impact on your life later. I want to get good grades now, because how well you do in school now determines what college you go to. I need to be ready for college because I want to be a doctor."