Below are the students for the class of 2018 and 2019! 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!

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.”

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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.”