La Porte Community School Corporation Youth Assistance Program Coordinator, Matt Zawacki, presented at the virtual meeting on May 4 for Indiana ACEs Coalition about the growth and success of the programs at LPCSC.

The Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) provides La Porte High School students experiencing significant academic and personal challenges the opportunity to reset their life trajectory toward achieving success. Most recently, the Youth Assistance Program (YAP) has been added to work in conjunction with the VLA to support each student and provide the resources and sounding board to monitor goal attainment, make necessary adjustments, and encourage students as they work toward their goals.

Additionally, the Youth Assistance Program provides workshops on topics such as drug prevention, finance, employment skill-building, and development of life skills pertinent to successfully transitioning into young adulthood. In terms of success, the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year the VLA/YAP served 64 students in grades 10 through 13. However, the program focuses predominantly on grades 11-13.

Grade 13 comprises students, known as “Super Seniors”, who did not attain their high school diploma within the four-year timeline, according to LPCSC.

In the first semester of this school year, 17 of the 19 Super Seniors completed all required coursework to obtain their high school diploma mid-year. One even graduated early, increasing the number of Virtual Learning Academy high school graduates to 18 out of 19.

LPCSC says the program’s success is made possible by staff, students, parents, and the community as all parties form a network of support that fill the gaps where roadblocks once stood.