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 expand support through housing, food, mental health services and substance abuse counseling.
First Year Achievements
We have great news to share. The expanded Back on Track program had 33 graduates in its first year! Twenty eight students were from the additional AVAIL class, and the other 5 attended the evening program located at North Star Elementary. 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.
A number of wraparound services were provided by the team, including assistance with housing, access to medical and vision care, getting IDs and birth certificates, and so much more. The program doesn’t only serve seniors and a number of students in other grades also attended the two Back on Track classes. Fifty four total students to date have been served through the AVAIL classroom, and thirty three through the North Star classroom.
Even more great news! The Back on Track summer school program is serving 198 students — which is more than double the original estimate — and 13 seniors have achieved enough credits to graduate! Three teachers will be funded by a contribution from BP and the remaining teaching staff will be provided by ASD. The other classroom staff, supplies and services will be funded from the AT&T Aspire grant. Summer school will run May 30 through June 27 at East High School.
Check back for updates over the summer! And stay tuned for profiles of our graduates.