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Transparency Reporting

Chandler Woods Eighth-Grade Student Wins $5,000 College Scholarship

Elena Florida, an eighth-grade student at Chandler Woods Charter Academy, was surprised during an assembly with a $5,000 college scholarship. Principal Joe Hammond announced Elena as one of seven recipients of the 2018 National Heritage Academies (NHA) CollegeBoundTM Scholarship.
Students from 84 schools around the country applied for the one-time college scholarship from NHA, the school’s charter management company. Out of hundreds of applicants, seven were awarded the $5,000 scholarship to be used for their future college endeavors.
As part of the application process, each applicant was required to write a personal essay on one of four topics. Elena selected technology as her essay topic and talked about ways technology has increased the ability of cheating on school work.
“When writing an essay or even just doing my math homework, the access I have to Google and other search engines encourages and gives ample opportunities to use those resources in an unconventional and immoral way. Keeping these standards, whether you set them for yourselves or they were set by others is quite hard,” Florida wrote. “I believe that the strong and respectful representations in our current NHA schools concerning accountability and trust when it comes to moral focus has become an extremely helpful tool. This has shaped the way my fellow members of Chandler Woods Charter Academy and I approach these new and impartial hurdles”
Elena is an active member of National Junior Honor Society, Alpine Baptist Youth Group, and the Chandler Woods basketball and volleyball teams.
“On behalf of National Heritage Academies, I want to congratulate Elena Florida on winning one of the 2018 NHA CollegeBound Scholarships,” said Tari Reinink, NHA chief marketing officer. “Elena is an excellent example of what we hope for all NHA students. With strong academics, admirable character, and a passion for community, I look forward to seeing what she accomplishes in the future. I wish Elena the best of luck on her next academic venture.”
All eighth-grade students who attend an NHA school are eligible for the scholarship. An independent professional selection group chose the winners based on their essay submission, academics, and community service.
Ninety-three percent of the scholarship money comes directly from NHA employee donations. Many NHA employees see the scholarship fund as an opportunity to further support students and help them on the path toward college readiness.

About Chandler Woods Charter Academy
Chandler Woods Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Belmont, Michigan, serving students in Young 5s through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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