Success Stories

  • Joel, 7th Grade

    Joel, a 7th grade student at HOPE’s Alpha Learning Academy in Pueblo, has been on an inspiring journey this school year. He had been a HOPE student for three years during his elementary school days, but spent his 6th grade year at a traditional public school in the area. Joel lost his mother at the beginning of 5th grade and his ability to focus on school was a struggle.

    “He is an amazing young man,” said Ms. Desirae Mancia, Lead Mentor at Alpha Learning Academy, who took Joel out to eat over the summer between his 4th and 5th grade year after his mother suffered a stroke. “He still came to learn each day following his mother’s passing. This year he started out thinking there was not much he could do to improve. But we found ways to assist with him and, in true Joel form, he began to turn the corner. He is a great leader and is always willing to help out.”

    Joel has appreciated all that Alpha Learning Academy has done for him. On the top of his list is attention, which Alpha is able to provide through their small class sizes.

    “I like that they know me here. They’ve worked with me, and I have found ways to re-focus,” said Joel. “I earned a 3.0 during the second quarter. I feel good about what I have done.”

    The academic team at Alpha Learning Academy says they set a plan with Joel to manage his behavior and academic progress. The interventions improved his communication and ability to let others know how he is feeling. Joel is paying more attention in school now, and he has been able to substantially improve his reading, which has led to growth in other subject areas.

    “His confidence has increased, and he is taking responsibility for himself and his actions,” said Ms. Celina Apodaca, Director at Alpha Learning Academy.

    Joel would highly recommend Alpha Learning Academy to other students out there who may be having a hard time in school. He’s made a lot of friends and respects the adult leadership at the center. One of his favorite things about Alpha is he can “always ask for help.” His secret to finding success is simple.

    “Make good behavior choices, and do your assignments and don’t wait until later,” said Joel. 

    Joel intends to finish middle and high school at Alpha Learning Academy as HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op’s blended learning model is working for him. He enjoys football and plans to take advantage of the rules that will allow him to play for one of the local high school teams. After graduation, he plans to enter the Army like many of his family members before him. Choosing this path was always the dream his mother had for him. He intends to receive a college education through the GI Bill.