The Yass Prize for Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding and Permissionless (STOP) education continued its nationwide roadshow in Evans, Georgia, last week to visit 2022 STOP Award winner SOAR Academy and celebrate its expansion.
SOAR Academy leader Kenisha Skaggs is redefining what it means to deliver a personalized education experience for neurodiverse students. She started SOAR Academy in her house, and now, thanks to hard work, a commitment to success, and the rocket fuel a $500,000 STOP Award provided her, Skaggs has expanded her school’s footprint and is about to break ground on a new building that will allow enrollment to quadruple in the next few years. That means neurodiverse kids, with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia and other learning disabilities, who have been on a waiting list to attend SOAR will finally have the opportunity.
Parents, grandparents and students alike have found hope in SOAR Academy after multiple school options failed them in the past. “I don’t have to feel bad for not being able to read well,” said one student. “I don’t even feel embarrassed reading aloud now.” Another called herself a “docile” learner and said “no one paid attention” to her at her former school.
VIPs from across the area joined in on the SOAR Academy celebration including Russell Lahodny, President and CEO of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, and reporters from WJBF News Channel 6, WFXG Fox 54, WRDW News 12, the Augusta Chronicle, and the Augusta Press, who all did stories on the incredible work happening at SOAR Academy:
- WJBF: SOAR Academy in Evans celebrates receiving competitive $500K award
- WFXG Fox 54: Local school receives $500,000 grant
- WRDW News 12: SOAR Academy celebrates anniversary, $500,000 in funds
- Augusta Chronicle: SOAR Academy using $500,000 prize to build new school for specialized education
- SOAR Academy of Evans Celebrates National Award