John Hamilton is a 19 year old future graduate at C.G. Bethel High School in N. Miami Beach, who has just received confirmation that he has been accepted to Barry University, a private Catholic institution in the City of Miami Shores. In addition to his college acceptance, John was informed that he is the recipient of a $32,000.00 academic scholarship.
John came to C.G. Bethel from Boston as an 11th grader. Before arriving at C.G. Bethel, he encountered some difficulty enrolling in local traditional high schools in the area, due to his age and poor academic standing from his previous school.
He enrolled at C.G. Bethel in November of 2016, and since then, he has not only caught up academically, but he also has “surpassed all expectations,” according to Principal Alex Madrigal. Starting with a 1.5 GPA and over 5 credits behind his class, John gained the necessary traction, and currently has a 3.24 GPA, and is three credits from graduation.
“John is a true success story, and he epitomizes what our vision and mission are as school and organization,” said Principal Madrigal.
Motivated by the success of his peers, and that he too could pursue a college education; John decided to take the SAT on a whim without preparing. While he did well, he was not satisfied and sought the help from one of his teachers, Mr. Harry Fanfan. On the next time, John increased his SAT score by 140 points.
With his higher test scores and improved academic transcript, John received his first college acceptance letter last week – and the $32,000.00 scholarship – which he will use to earn a degree in business administration.
In 2017, we re-established EdisonLearning’s presence in one of our industry’s top markets – Florida, doubled the size of our Alternative Education portfolio, welcomed a talented and passionate team of dedicated education professionals, and took on the responsibility of guiding nearly 2,500 young people on their educational journey. Throughout our school network, more than 1,100 students earned their high school diplomas.
Internationally, our colleagues in the UK continued to grow and enhance their work. Due to their efforts, more than 500 schools across England have benefitted from their support and school improvement resources. They have made EdisonLearning UK the chosen school improvement partner and, most importantly, the NAHT’s delivery partner for the Aspire school improvement initiative.
The commitment to our mission is clearly displayed by these outcomes; and is verified by the words of Carl Velez, a Chicago Brainerd Bridgescape graduate, “All my teachers pushed me every day to work hard. When they showed me that they cared, it made me want to come to school every day, and graduate.”
As much as we can be proud of the success of the students we help to educate, even more so we can be inspired by our students’ and staff’s desire to be contributing members of society.
Over the past few months, we have seen:
- Students at Theodore Roosevelt in Gary collect food and clothing for those in need, as well as raise funds for the United Negro College Fund;
- Our team in Pittsburgh solicit donations and food for the local Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank;
- The Komen Foundation recognize C.G. Bethel High School in North Miami Beach for supporting breast cancer awareness in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale region;
- Our Bridgescape Academies in Chicago and Ohio be good neighbors by hosting Community Information Fairs;
- Aya Takidin, a student at Bethel High, establish a “GoFundMe” account to benefit Syrian refugees; and,
- Countless students in Florida, and EdisonLearning staff members throughout the company, donate their time and money to the recovery efforts for the hurricanes in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico.
This is who we are as a company and as individuals; and since I took over ownership of the company three years ago, I could not be more proud.
I know that 2017 has presented us, both individually and collectively, with a number of challenges – many that we have already overcome. I also know that without question, 2018 will continue to challenge us – it is the nature of the business we are engaged in. Yet, I am confident that the coming year will show that we have no limits to further enrich the lives and futures of young people we are honored to help educate.
Aya Takidin entered C.G. Bethel High School in North Miami this year after a period of challenging circumstances. In the short time she has been at C.G. Bethel, as Principal Alex Madrigal says, “Aya has been an exceptional addition to our student population … and is determined to make a difference.”
Born in Damascus, Syria, Aya came to the United States with her family in 2012, and during the past few years, her academic work had suffered due to some unforeseen family circumstances, that were out of her control.
Since enrolling at C.G. Bethel in late August, Aya has been able to take full advantage of the school's self-paced digital curriculum. She has attended double sessions, has currently completed 6.5 credits, has increased her GPA to 3.3, and is on pace to graduate. As Principal Madrigal states, “Aya, and has put forth an incredible effort.”
In addition to her tremendous progress in academics, Aya has also been extremely busy in promoting different charitable endeavors at school and the community. During winter break she will be traveling to Lebanon to perform charity work with Alphabet for Alternative Education, a group based out of her home country Syria.
However, Aya’s passion to make a difference goes even further. She has created a “Go Fund Me” account to raise money for young Syrian refugees, who have suffered from the horrible upheaval that has gripped the country over the past years. Aya will be donating all the proceeds to improve the education and living conditions of the children living in the camps.
If you are interested in supporting Aya’s efforts on behalf of Syrian children, you are encouraged to visit the Go Fund Me account at the link below.
In a spirit of “Giving Thanks”, schools throughout the EdisonLearning network held special Thanksgiving luncheons prior to the holiday.
Chambers High School in Homestead, Sunrise High School in Ft. Lauderdale, and the Bridgescape Academy in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood held special gatherings to offer the entire school community an opportunity to pause and reflect on the persons and things they are thankful for.
Staff members prepared home cooked dishes for the students, in order to share a recipe that they use during the holidays. Some staff members also purchased food items that they knew the students love to eat. At Sunrise High, turkeys were donated for the luncheon by Masonic McBride 390 Lodge.
At the present time, there are 21 million American men and women who have served in the military branches of the United States. They come from all walks of life; they are parents, children, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors and co-workers.
The above image displays members of the EdisonLearning team who have served, or in some cases, are still serving our country. Our appreciation of their commitment is unlimited, and we are honored to have them as colleagues.
On November 11, Americans will observe Veterans Day and honor all of our fellow citizens who put on a uniform to not only protect and defend our nation, but to help bring about a better and safer world.
Since the conclusion of the World War I, which was labeled at the time as, “the war to end all wars,” mankind has engaged in armed conflicts too numerous to list. Nearly all have been fueled by religious intolerance, racial prejudice, or sheer desire for power. Yet, the overwhelming cause of war and destruction has been – ignorance: the lack of knowledge.
On a daily basis, our organization is committed to advancing student achievement not only in the U.S. and U.K., but throughout the world. This significant aspect of our Mission and Vision is how we can impact mankind, so that brave freedom-loving soldiers will not have to march into harm’s way.
We further have a role to play in the reintegration of our veterans when they transition to civilian life, including the transition to employment. It is for this reason that we have partnered with Troops to Teachers in every school location across the country. This U.S. Department of Defense program helps eligible military personnel begin a new career as teachers in public schools where their skills, knowledge and experience are most needed.
EdisonLearning is a military friendly employer, and proud of it. We know that veterans offer us all an example of what it means to truly serve. Making extraordinary sacrifices, they have dedicated themselves to protecting our country, our freedoms, and our way of life.
As you celebrate Veteran’s Day this weekend, please join me in making a special effort to show our gratitude, support and respect for the brave and selfless contributions of our Veterans and their families.