GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., May
National Heritage Academies (NHA) opened its first school nineteen years ago in
Grand Rapids, Mich., the number of eighth-grade graduates has continued to climb,
reaching 26,409 in 2013. With graduation right around the corner, that number will
soon increase with the addition of 4,261 new graduates.
environment built into each NHA school is meant to help nurture and foster students’
dreams and goals of not only graduating high school, but also attending the
college of their choice and eventually selecting a career.
students are not just our students now they remain a part of the greater NHA
community for life as alumni,” said President and CEO of National Heritage
Academies Chip Hurlburt.
recent data shows that 96 percent of NHA eighth-grade graduates have completed
high school or received their GED, compared to the national average of 83
percent. Thirty-seven percent of NHA alumni have graduated college, compared to
the national average of 31 percent. NHA students predominantly come from low-income
areas, with 67 percent qualifying for free and reduced lunch. Nationally, 73
low-income students graduate high school and only 11 percent of low-income
students become college graduates.
NHA’s hope for alumni connection continues
through the establishment of the NHA Alumni Association, a resource for alumni
to update NHA on their current ventures, degrees, and even jobs. The Alumni Association
informs students about scholarship opportunities and how to get the most out of
college as well as resume tips and job postings.
The 26,409 NHA alumni are making their mark
in many areas of the country. Alumni accomplishments include winning a gold
medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, attending multiple Ivy League Universities,
serving in the Armed Forces, becoming published authors, honored as high school
Valedictorian or top ten percent, and even becoming teachers.
“I am always in awe of the wonderful things
our alumni are accomplishing,” said Hurlburt. “It is a testament to the
wonderful work of our teachers, deans, and principals. Every student who
graduates from an NHA school is an ambassador for the positive impact of a
charter school in a student’s life.”
Heritage Academies is joining charter schools across the country in celebrating
National Charter Schools week May 4 – 10. The week is designed to help raise
awareness about how charter schools operate and the educational choice they
provide parents. NHA students and staff will share their school pride with each
other this week and reflect on the academic achievements met so far this year.
Academies is a charter school management company operating 76 schools in nine
states for the 2013-2014 school year. It is currently serving more than 50,000
students in grades kindergarten through eighth.