By Kate Gaier
5:00 pm January 18, 2007
The Mitchell Academy Center, in existence for less than two years, is a school designed to help at risk kids get back on track and earn a High School Diploma.
Two years may not sound like enough time to accomplish much, but staff members say the academy is already making a big difference in the students’ lives.
Kimberly Ingram, Principal at The Academy, said, "In the last year I've had one graduate from high school, he's in the Navy, and I have one that will graduate this year, and without our program that might not have happened."
Located in a small building with only ten classrooms, The Academy can accept up to 60 students at one time, but potential students must go through an interview process and prove they want to get back on track to earn their diploma.
Funrail C. Quimbley, a literature teacher at The Academy, said, "Deep down inside they really want it. You just have to find that. They shut off, or turn the light off. You have to find a way to ask them to turn it back on. You can't do it for them."
For many of the students, the academy is a second chance that they might not have gotten. Some have broken the law and even have parole officers, even at such a young age.
Principal Ingram added, "It's really important that I do everything to help your child to succeed and you do everything to help your child to succeed."
It’s helping the students to succeed and opening many doors that have already been slammed in their face.