Asia Charles almost didn’t graduate high school.
“I was dropping out of school,” she said. “I was supporting myself, so I put work before school. I was not going to come back to school at all.”
At LEAD Charter School, there are lots of stories like Asia’s. For one reason or another - either fighting in class, running with the wrong crowd, skipping school and many other reasons - young people find themselves without a school or a direction for their future.
By joining LEAD, the first charter school specifically designed for young people 16-21 who’ve attempted high school, students can earn job training skills and industry-recognized certifications in one of three career pathways - construction, healthcare and technology - while also earning their high school diploma.
Students also have access to a network of career-readiness resources from one of three campuses, as well as a community of teachers and counselors who want to see students transform themselves, their families and their communities.
This year, more than 60 students graduated from LEAD, including Asia, who proudly wore her white cap and gown; her orange LEAD Charter School sash draped around her shoulders. Today, she is a student at Virginia Union University, a historically-black college/university or HBCU in Richmond, Virginia; and she’s pursuing her degree in nursing with plans of becoming a pediatrician.
“Self-care and confidence: that’s what I learned at LEAD. If I put my mind to anything, I know I can do it,” she said.
LEAD Charter School is open for enrollment for the 2020-21 school year. There are campuses in the North and Central Wards. Learn more about LEAD Charter School at leadcharterschool.org or call 862-772-1724.