At the start of the pandemic, Project Potential’s most recent graduates (Class of 2023) were in their first year of high school. They were just finishing their third grading period when the Lexington City School System suddenly closed all buildings and transitioned to online learning. In the blink of an eye, school at our students knew it was turned upside down and they were left to adjust as best they could.
Nationwide, low-income schools like ours encountered numerous challenges with online education. Many families in Lexington did not have access to the internet or laptops their children needed for virtual school. In addition, significant numbers of parents were considered “essential workers: during the pandemic and were unable to ber present with their children during school hours. This required older students like ours to take responsibility for the education of their younger siblings as well as their own. Parents working outside the home were also much more likely to be exposed to the coronavirus, putting themselves and their family members, and even the death of loved ones.
Despite facing unprecedented challenges, our students have continued to find ways to overcome obstacles. Throughout high school, students in the Class of 2023 have worked closely with Chevon Burton, our Program Director to secure $2,933,123 in outside scholarships, financial aid, and grants to continue their education. Ten of our participants graduated from Lexington Senior High School with professional certificates from Davie Davidson Community College and two graduated with associate degrees.