Succeed Scholarship Graduates

Below are the students for the class of 2018, 2019 and 2020! All of these students participated in the Succeed Scholarship and wanted to share their courageous stories with all of us. We are so proud of these students!

Silas Kirchner

Compass Academy

Silas will graduate high school in May from Compass Academy with a 4.0 GPA.
He has worked hard and has overcome a lot in his journey through school. We are so proud of all he has accomplished and we are thankful for all those who have helped and encouraged him along the way. He has been accepted to Central Baptist College for the fall of 2021.
We are excited to see him begin this new chapter and discover all that God has planned for his future!

A note from Silas’s mom, Melissa

Omar Lopez

Easterseals Academy at Riverdale

Hey Omar, It has been a long journey, but you did it, son! We are very proud of you! Your mom, dad, sister and niece want to congratulate you on your big day and also let you know that we love you and will always be there for you. Happy Graduation Dude …

A note from Omar’s dad, Jose

Virginia Jackson 

Mount St. Mary’s Academy

We are proud of you!

A note from Virginia’s dad, Douglas

Hayden Andoe

Union Christian Academy

Congratulations, Hayden! We are proud of you and pray God’s blessings for your future.

A note from Hayden’s mom, Vicki

Ross Price

Avilla Christian Academy

I am very proud of you, Ross. You are very smart and intelligent man … I love you very much!

A note from Ross’s mom, Jamie

Hayden Shillcut

Access Academy

Hayden has flourished since he transferred to Access Academy, and we are so proud of him and his hard work. We are grateful to his teachers and therapists who are so dedicated to their students. We are also grateful for the Succeed Scholarship, as he would not have been able to attend Access without their assistance.

A note from Hayden’s mom, Angela

Elizabeth Charles Colburn

Mount St. Mary Academy

Our graduate, Elizabeth Charles Colburn, affectionately known by everyone as Charlie, is beautiful, smart and a diligent student. If anyone deserved a scholarship, it was her. I will forever be grateful for the Succeed Scholarship because it has set her on a path of success. She has received multiple college scholarships and is excited to be attending UCA. She also thinks it would be great to get an MBA. College was not considered a choice at the Mount. All of their girls go to college — even someone who has three learning disabilities. That someone, my daughter, still has a 3.8 GPA. The Mount, her parents and a wondrous godmother support her dedication to the arts and her drive to get a college education. So, the Succeed Scholarship has been a godsend to my daughter. She would not have been in this position if it hadn’t been for the scholarship. To all involved, thank you for caring about my daughter. A fine education is a gift that cannot be matched. Thank you!

A note from Charlie’s mom, Nancy

I’m grateful for the Succeed Scholarship because it has given me the opportunity to attend Mount St. Mary Academy. The school has given me an education beyond the average person and the ability to use my tools for Dyslexia. Not only my education, but to pursue the arts. Without the Succeed Scholarship, I do not think I would have the same opportunity to learn that much about art. I am thankful for being chosen for this scholarship.

A note from Charlie

Mary Kathryn Blanford

When we made the choice to withdraw MK from her public middle school, we had 3 options: school choice, home school, or private school. School choice wasn’t an option because we would have been denied based on her special education needs. Home school wasn’t sensible because we are a single income family, and if I’ve learned anything these last few weeks, MK needs direct classroom interaction and supervision for her to succeed academically. Private school was our only option to give MK a true chance at success. This is not how I pictured my daughter’s last days of high school but God has blessed us, exceedingly and abundantly, more than I ever could have imagined. The Reform Alliance’s Succeed Scholarship has blessed our family and I pray it expands exponentially to bless many more Arkansas families.

A note from MK’s mom

Michael Young

Michael has autism and has attended Compass academy for 5 years. He has received the succeed scholarship for the last 3 years. Without the scholarship, he could not have stayed in this special school the entire time. This school has grown him in ways that I didn’t even know were possible. He has made many friends and the support of families in similar circumstances has been helpful to me. The director, Courtney Williams, cares about our lives outside of school, also. Additionally, we appreciate the prayers in school and out of school that I know the teachers raise up. Michael is excited to graduate and is hopeful he will attend Independent Living Services of Conway’s Day Program. He would like to find some work and eventually live in his own apartment with assistance. Michael does interesting & creative artwork, loves to help me cook, and is a great helper around the house. He will try and eat just about any fresh fruit or vegetable. He loves to participate in Special Olympics Bowling and Track & Field.

A note from Michael’s mom

Christian Shreve

Christian Shreve has been acknowledged countless times at Prism for his respect and diligence. He had a big goal of getting into the Welding Program at NTI and worked hard until he reached it! Christian was a part of the Senior High Boys Basketball team, starting in several games. We are proud of Christian for his persistence and his willing heart to service-learn at Prism.

A note from Prism

I am so thankful for the Succeed Scholarship! It helped our household immensely, and gave my son an opportunity for excellent education! As his mom, I’ve have seen first hand the man he is growing in to and could not be more proud of him as he goes on to contribute to society. Thank you Succeed Scholarship!!

A note from Christian’s mom

Darien Porch

Congratulations to Darien! He is graduate of Abundant Life Christian Academy and a Succeed Scholarship recipient!

“Our family would like to take this time to say we have been very blessed to be a part of the Succeed Scholarship. It has been an amazing experience to have The Reform Alliance be such an advocate for Darien’s education success. You guys R-O-C-K! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

A note from Darien’s mom

Elliott Shreve

Elliott Shreve has been an absolutely delightful part of our every day at Prism Education Center. Elliott has devoted his final two years at Prism to serving in the kitchen, delivering food and laundry to our preschool students, and bringing joy to all while playing on Prism’s basketball team. He has grown tremendously in his service position and we are so thankful for his effort and the enthusiasm he brings to his work.

A note from Prism

The move to Prism Education Center in 2012 was a Godsend. Today, Elliott can write. He is not authoring novels, but in a school or teaching environment, he is able to engage and take notes with his peers. His time at Prism has included playing in multiple high school basketball games where he scored several times. Elliott has participated in the high school spelling bees and has been involved in every school fundraiser and school spirit event. Most important, he has worked for the last two years in a job training and development program at Prism where he learned to diligently work serving meals, cleaning and supporting the school from the preschool all the way through high school level. We are thankful that the Succeed Scholarship has supported such a wonderful and memorable journey for Elliott and many other students. Thank you!

A note from Elliott’s mom

Dutch Leger

Dutch faces graduation day with excitement. “I am eager to try life outside of the ACCESS umbrella and employ all that I have learned to the world at large, and for that my family and I are very, very grateful.” Gwen, Dutch’s mom, reflects back on his struggles, “In the middle of second grade, little progress had been made academically or socially. During an IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting, an honest teacher said, “we just don’t know what to do with him.” That is when we made the decision to move Dutch to ACCESS. With that decision came financial sacrifices and logistical burdens for the family for many years. However, seeing Dutch blossom was worth it. The Succeed Scholarship lifted much of the financial burden and allowed him to attend a school that could truly meet his needs.” Dutch just received his acceptance letter for Project SEARCH, a job training program through UAMS and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Dutch explains how he feels about his recent accomplishments, “I am beyond excited and more importantly, proud! Proud that I took the risk to apply and interview.”

je Stover Photography

Walker Wroten

“Attending ACCESS has been life-changing for me. I am thankful for my ACCESS family and the opportunities the Succeed Scholarship Program provided for my education. ACCESS and the Succeed Scholarship Program helped me accomplish my goals.

I am graduating this year and attending college in the fall.” Walker, and his mom Kathy, agree that the teachers, therapists and staff worked together to provide him with the opportunity to learn in an encouraging, productive and fun environment. Kathy says, “The Succeed Scholarship Program blessed our family in being able to make a choice that provided the best education possible for Walker.” Walker is ready for the next chapter. “I’m excited, grateful and most of all appreciative of each individual that helped prepare me for my future.”

Nola Trantham

“She brings a smile to everyone she meets,” says Nola’s Mom, Mandy. Attending ACCESS, was just the right fit for Nola to flourish and succeed. “Nola has a sweet, kind heart. She often takes the leadership role in the classroom and does well with her younger peers.” says Nicole, Nola’s Speech Therapist. Nola’s twin sister Kaite will graduate in June from Sheridan High School. Nola was thrilled when the family took a trip to visit Graceland. She loves Elvis and is an expert on its history. She is active in her church and travels with her family and other church members on annual mission trips to Mexico. As for what is next for Nola, “I am excited that I have been accepted as an intern with Project SEARCH,” a nine-month job training program through Arkansas Children’s Hospital and UAMS that begins this August.

Brandon Cox

“Thanks to The Succeed Scholarship, I was able to go to the school that I wanted to attend. I was able to enjoy the second half of my high school years because of this scholarship and do what I would not have done if I hadn’t had this opportunity. I am grateful that this was out there to help me love where I received my education and make memories that I’ll never forget!”

Dwan Bailey – Brandon’s mother

“The Succeed Scholarship has changed my son’s life for the better and therefore changed mine. Before the scholarship, my son didn’t like school but because he was given this opportunity, he loved the private school he has been able to attend for the past two years and has excelled in every area of his life. He is graduating this month and going on to college in the fall and that wasn’t even a thought before. I am so thankful for the scholarship and The Reform Alliance! You have truly blessed our family!”

Sydney Pilgreen

Tina Pilgreen – Sydney Pilgreen’s mother

“Sydney has faced many challenges in the last 18 years and we couldn’t be more proud of all that she has accomplished and look forward to seeing what the future holds. We are so grateful for all the teachers, therapists, and friends that have helped her achieve her goal. We are beyond blessed!” Sydney would say, “I’m excited….dance party!”

Omar Gardner

“Graduating high school is both scary and exciting at the same time. There is a lot of responsibility with moving out of my parents home and starting the next chapter in my life. I am looking forward to creating my own unique book of life with all the guidance and encouragement I have received from my parents and all my teachers. The Succeed Scholarship Program gave me the opportunity to know that I can achieve my goal, which is being a valuable asset in our world and to be myself while doing so.”

Natasha Bryan

“In 10th grade, I was crashing and burning and dreaded every day of school. The school I attended was big, loud, and there were so many distractions, I could not focus. I didn’t believe I was the type of person that could make it to college. Today, with the help of The Succeed Scholarship Program and the support of my school, Mount Saint Mary’s, I am headed to Florida International University to challenge myself in a pre-med program. I have been accepted and offered scholarships from 7 colleges. I am proud to be the recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship. My mother is so proud of me, and I am proud of myself. I am ready for life’s challenges.”

Alesia Ferguson – Natasha’s mother

“As a single mother raising two girls, I had to watch my expenses and I felt public school was my only option. Although my eldest daughter performed successfully in a public school setting, this was not the right environment for my youngest daughter Natasha who is diagnosed with ADD. With the financial support of The Succeed Scholarship Program, I was able to keep Natasha in private school for the last two years of high school. She has raised her ACT score from 22 to 34. Her GPA went from a 3.0 to over 3.75 in two years. During her senior year Natasha took 5 AP courses including AP chemistry and AP calculus. I am so proud of her achievements. We went from a child who dreaded school to a child who is awake and ready for the challenge every day. I know now she will achieve her dreams of being a medical doctor. There is a right start for every family and for every child. Choice and opportunity are important.”

Adal Gardner

“It is a surreal feeling that the next chapter in my life is about to unfold. Going to college and all the other stuff that comes with graduating from high school is a prodigious moment and experience to be able to tell people that I have a degree and graduated high school. I know whatever path I choose in life, my family will always be there and support my decisions. I hope that everything I have learned from kindergarten to being a senior will better me in the real world. If I could go back and thank all my teachers who have helped me through all my thirteen years in school, I would. And I am very blessed and thankful to have been given the opportunity through The Succeed Scholarship Program to attend my last year of high school at the school that was right for me.”


Connie Gardner – Omar and Adal’s mother

“As a parent of sons that have overcome every obstacle and struggle throughout their school years, I am immensely proud of their accomplishments as high school senior graduates. Graduating from high school is terrifying for me as a mom. My boys are now men and letting go is the hardest thing I will ever have to do. Watching them grow and succeed makes my job the best job ever. My sons are special gifts from God and he has a magnificent plan for both of them. Adal and Omar have already made a significant imprint on my life. I can’t wait to see what they have to offer the world.”