Too often, high school students face challenging life circumstances. Homelessness, illness, family problems and bullying all are issues that can make it difficult for youth to succeed in traditional school environments. For more than 15 years, Simon Youth Foundation has been reaching these students before they decide to drop out of school, connecting them with Simon Youth Academies and creating opportunities for them to earn their high school diplomas. In total, we’ve helped more than 11,000 students graduate. Brandon Pressley, a graduate of the Simon Youth Academy at Opry Mills in Nashville, TN is one of these students. In December of 2013, Brandon proudly walked across the stage to accept his diploma – making him the first in his family to graduate from high school. And in his own words, “he’s not stopping there.” This is his story.
You can watch more student testimonials to see all the ways that SYF ignites hope in young people that they can go anywhere their dreams lead them.