Elevating hope: Program offers support to Phoenix’s struggling students

PHOENIX – Stacie Flannery struggled in high school, with her grades and her personal life. Counselors enrolled her in Elevate Phoenix, an in-school elective for at-risk youth in urban Phoenix. The organization offers programs, both in and outside school, that offer life-changing relationships for struggling students to reduce the number of public school dropouts.

Flannery was in an abusive relationship for two years and believed no one could love her. But in class, she learned to have hope. In her darkest hours, she reached out to her teacher and mentor Jazmine Hall, who is now the development director at Elevate Phoenix.

“I remember it so vividly. I’m sitting on my bed, crying my eyes out …” Flannery said. “It’s 3 a.m. and I’m deciding whether I am going to take my life that night or not.”

After many late-night phone calls between the two, Flannery found the strength and confidence to make positive changes in her life. With a positive attitude and hard work, she went on to not only graduate high school, but to graduate from ASU in three years.

Today, Flannery works as a teacher and mentor at Elevate Phoenix. She sees herself in a lot of her students.

“It ignites this fire in me to come to work every day and to share that hope that things do get better,” she said.

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