United Way, in partnership with Covenant House and the Anchorage School District, was awarded an AT&T Aspire Grant of $750,000 over two years to help homeless and at-risk youth receive their high school diploma. This grant has enabled us to increase the capacity of the AVAIL classroom at Covenant House by adding evening classes provided by the school district to accommodate more youth and support through housing, food, mental health services and substance abuse counseling.
Second Year Achievements
The Back on Track program has been hugely successful throughout the 2017-18 school year. To date, 90 students have graduated! So far, 249 students have received services including non-academic needs assistance which oftentimes makes the difference between receiving a diploma and discontinuing school. Two Back on Track graduates liked the program so much, they are coming back to work as Teaching Assistants in the AVAIL classroom over the summer! Data for a total number of students served, services provided and the number of students graduated will be available in the fall.
First Year Achievements
The expanded Back on Track program had 51 graduates in its first year! Twenty-eight students were from the additional AVAIL class, 8 attended the evening program located at North Star Elementary and 15 more received their diploma during the summer school courses. Kudos to the support team, and the teaching and TA teams at both sites for making it possible for these students to be able to graduate.
Wraparound services are a key part of Back on Track, including assistance with housing, access to medical and vision care, obtaining IDs and birth certificates, and much more. The program serves 9th – 12th grade students from across Anchorage School District who are at high risk of not graduating. In the 2016-17 school year, 268 high school students were served in total, including 199 students who attended summer school. Funding for Back on Track was provided by the AT&T Aspire grant, Anchorage School District, BP and United Way of Anchorage.