Bliss Babe Magazine: Creating Success and Second Chances

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The Children’s Cabinet Wilbur D. May Youth Center and Redfield Academy classrooms, 777 Sinclair Street, Midtown Reno

For some high school students, it can feel nearly impossible to keep up with a traditional school curriculum when external or personal challenges prevent them from completing coursework or accessing tools to help. When they fall behind, many students struggle to find help and motivation. Lacey Keele, a program director at The Children’s Cabinet and principal of the organization’s 30-student high school, understands the importance of second chances and passionately works to find a way for each of her students to achieve their goals.

“Catching up and reaching academic goals and graduation takes an enormous amount of commitment from each student. Beyond the classroom, we work to rebuild the way students look at themselves and their future. We are a family not just a school,” describes Keele.

Lacey Keele, Program Director of Redfield Academy, supports students as they work to complete coursework

Redfield Academy is a high school within The Children’s Cabinet that provides Washoe County School District (WCSD) students—who are at risk of dropping out of high school—an opportunity to both recover credits and work towards a diploma or equivalent. Paired with additional support programs and resources offered through The Children’s Cabinet, students have the opportunity to complete their high school education, but also benefit from a multi-level support system led by Principal Keele. As she explains, “I am able to work side by side with the WCSD, the family, and the student to ensure that they are getting the education as well as the wrap-around services that are individualized for each youth and their particular situation.”

Inspired by her own struggles as a teen mom and student, Lacey works to create an engaging curriculum for each year. She connects with community partners and businesses to create opportunities for her students to develop real-life skills, like cooking or personal finance, as well as build self-confidence and positive experiences with field trips around Northern Nevada.

Many students at Redfield come to the program facing significant hurdles or with a jaded view of education from past experiences. The Redfield Academy team works diligently to reignite a passion for learning and promote growth, self-worth, and belonging.

“We are very excited because this year’s graduating class will be the largest yet in the school’s history. It includes twelve students, including four juniors who not only caught up on delinquent course work, but fulfilled the necessary requirements for a high school diploma early!” adds Keele. “Many of these students simply need support and the right environment to be successful.”

Redfield Academy will be the featured program at this year’s Art of Childhood Gala, an annual fundraiser for The Children’s Cabinet. Held at the Governor’s Mansion in Carson City, 100% of funds raised at the event will go back to programs like Redfield Academy, outreach, support services, counseling, transitional housing, educational materials, and more. As the highlighted program, Redfield Academy aims to use funds to improve current classrooms and technology as well as expand its enrollment to 40 students.

Photos By Kralicek Photography and Frostworks Photography

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