The Arise Academy Charter High School, the nation’s first public charter high school exclusively for youth in foster care, held its first graduation ceremony since it opened its doors in September 2009.
The graduation ceremony took place on Tuesday, June 15 at 6:30 PM on LaSalle University’s campus in the Dan Rodden Theater, 1900 West Olney Avenue. Ten students graduated.
All of them plan to pursue further education with chosen schools ranging from Community College of Philadelphia to Delaware State University. The graduation ceremony will include presentations by many of the students, and the commencement address will be given by Kenneth Youngblood, a local charter leader, an inspirational speaker and owner of many local McDonald’s.
A staggering 75.2% of Philadelphia foster youth drop out of high school – twice the rate of those not in foster care. Arise Academy is the first public charter high school in Philadelphia and the nation specifically designed to address the negative educational outcomes for foster care youth.
Arise Academy Charter High School (9-12 grades) is a one-of-a-kind educational institution for youth in foster care. Already recognized as an important model for educating this special population, Arise Academy combines academic curriculum with quality on-site support services that address the specific needs of children in foster care.
By addressing the negative effects of transient life and offering much needed long-term stability, Arise Academy’s goal is to help foster care youth learn and grow in an atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation for individual talent so they can reach their full potential.