THE EDUCATION STOP OF LAST RESORT FOR “OFF TRACK” HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

The purpose of the REAL Ride is to raise funding and awareness for young adults left behind by the traditional education system, and to shine a light on the innovative schools that refuse to let them slip through the cracks.

Nearly all of the students for whom we are riding had dropped out of school, or were at high risk of doing so. Almost all are trying to learn in the face of some combination of poverty, food and housing insecurity, mental and physical health concerns, violence, and other traumas.

An extraordinary group of schools and educators are ensuring that these students re-engage with their education and grow into meaningful participants in their community. They give students a solid social and emotional intelligence platform from which to launch. They deploy an innovative competency-based curriculum. They amplify student voice and empower students to be in charge of their own learning.

This paradigm shift packs a powerful punch.

Students finish school. The community benefits. The workforce is strengthened.

In Boston, MA, Boston Day and Evening Academy leads this charge. BDEA launched the Responsive Education Alternatives Lab (REAL) to help spread its model, including through the creation of a national informal network of like-minded schools — to learn from each other and improve together. For the benefit of more students and more communities.

In Philadelphia, PA, The C.B. Community School is following BDEA’s lead and making a profound impact helping vulnerable students who have been involved with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems to learn, heal, and grow into caring, confident, competent citizens of the world.

In Denver, CO, Emily Griffith High School has been a pillar of empowerment for the community for over 30 years. Unwavering in its efforts to evolve and expand opportunity for young adults, EGHS provides students with a competency-based curriculum pathway to a diploma or GED, as well as successful engagement in post-secondary learning and career ventures.

In Seattle, Interagency Academy is network of small, alternative high schools that provide unique learning environments with targeted interventions for students who need something different than the system provides. IA is committed to working with every student, regardless of his or her past, and believes that every student can grow and succeed if given the right support and encouragement.

Just outside Cincinnati, OH, the Milford Success Academy is an alternative solution for students who are in jeopardy of not graduating as a consequence of immense challenges outside of school. The Success Academy provides the supports necessary to transform potential drop outs into graduates.

The REAL Ride will visit each of these inspiring schools, to help deepen their connection and raise awareness about their efforts to make education equal for all students.

“I was told by my 3rd grade teacher that I would end up dead or in prison.” – Trinnidad Ramkissoon, BDEA graduation speaker.