Kendall is a rising senior at Pleasure Ridge Park High School and on his way to achieving a major milestone in his life – graduating high school on time. His story has not been without its challenges, but with the support of community organizations and resources, he has been empowered to create a bright future for himself.
At a young age, Kendall’s parents noticed a difference in their son’s development which prompted them to enroll in Metro United Way’s Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) program. With the assistance of the ASQ evaluator, Kendall’s developmental delays were confirmed and he was connected to resources to help ensure he was on the right track to learn and grow as much as possible during his crucial early years.
In 2012, Kendall suffered a concussion after being bullied for being in special needs classes. Significant struggles now emerged that included rebelling against school, trouble focusing, being anti-social and seeing his grades decline. “After that incident, my son changed and I thought he was on the road to becoming another statistic,” said Felicia Young, Associate Manager of Volunteer Engagement at Metro United Way. “This is when my husband and I looked for high-quality out-of-school time programs available for Kendall to participate in to gain positive youth development skills and make friends.”
Kendall joined Louisville Urban League’s Project Ready, a leadership development and college readiness program for middle and high school youth that is supported by Metro United Way. Over time with this encouragement, Kendall blossomed into a young man, building relationships and gaining confidence. In fact, with the help of this OST program, Kendall transitioned into attending regular high school classes and currently has a 3.3 GPA!
This is just one of the success stories that demonstrate why school readiness is the goal of Metro United Way’s work throughout the entire education pipeline, from cradle to career. We are committed to making sure our children enter kindergarten ready to learn, help our youth stay in school, remain on grade level and graduate high school on time prepared for college, work and life.
Welcome to the graduating class of 2017, Kendall; we’re proud of you!