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Hope Academy and Simon Youth Foundation Announce Partnership

Friday, July 16, 2021
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INDIANAPOLIS – Hope Academy, Indiana’s only recovery high school, is joining forces with Simon Youth Foundation (SYF) as the newest Indianapolis Simon Youth Academy. In this partnership, the two local nonprofits will collaborate to provide Indianapolis area teens who are in jeopardy of dropping out of high school with the tools and resources they need to graduate and prepare for their post-graduation career path. Additionally, SYF will provide professional development opportunities to Hope Academy teachers and scholarship opportunities to its students.

“The mission alignment between Simon Youth Foundation and Hope Academy is perfectly in sync,” said Hope Academy Executive Director Rachelle Gardner. “Teens who struggle with substance use disorders are at a much higher risk of dropping out of high school and have different educational needs than students who aren’t impacted by substance abuse and addiction. Partnering with SYF will allow us to bring more innovation and resources to the classroom and address the unique challenges of our students.” 

Simon Youth Academies are non-traditional high schools that give students at risk of dropping out a quality education and flexible environment that emphasizes one-on-one learning, personalized support and small class sizes led by compassionate teachers. In the 2020-2021 academic year, SYF students achieved a 96% graduation rate. Since inception, SYF has helped nearly 24,000 students graduate from our nationwide network of 45 Simon Youth Academies in 16 states, in partnership with 30 public school districts.

“SYF is thrilled to support more students in the Indianapolis area by partnering with Hope Academy,” said SYF Director of Programs Jon Shapiro. “SYF’s mission is to meet students where they are and help them reach graduation day, much as Hope Academy has met students where they are in their addiction recovery. We are excited to provide additional support and resources to the students and faculty of Hope Academy, thereby helping more students achieve their goals through education.”

Last month, the Indiana Department of Education awarded SYF with a $358,000 student recovery grant to support ten Simon Youth Academies, one of which is Hope Academy. This grant will support post-secondary scholarships, teacher professional development, workforce development collaborations, student college visits and civic learning trips and student resources and technology.

About Hope Academy: Hope Academy is a tuition-free, public charter high school in Indianapolis for teens in recovery from substance-use disorders. The mission of Hope Academy is to provide a safe, sober and challenging academic experience. Learn more at hopeacademyrhs.org.

About Simon Youth Foundation: Simon Youth Foundation (SYF) is a national nonprofit committed to helping students reach graduation day. SYF executes this mission by partnering with local public school districts to launch Simon Youth Academies, alternative high schools located primarily in Simon malls, and by awarding Simon Youth Scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Since inception, SYF has helped nearly 24,000 students earn their diplomas through 45 Simon Youth Academies in 16 states, and has awarded $20 million in post-secondary scholarships. Learn more at syf.org.

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