Spotlight: A Scholar Success

By Shelby Hammond

“Scholars Unlimited is an incredible program for any student to be a part of. All the staff genuinely care about the students.”   

-Olivia’s Grandmother, Sarah*

Scholars Unlimited’s success is directly built upon all of the people that thrive in our community. We recently connected with two of our friends: one of our current scholars, Olivia, and her grandmother, Sarah, to see how they are coping with the challenges from the pandemic.

Our story first begins a few years back when Olivia’s grandparents were committed to creating a safe and stable home, and also needed a structured place for her after Kindergarten each day. Olivia was in need of a new environment, as her family navigated life circumstances. When Sarah learned about Scholars Unlimited, and that Olivia would also receive literacy and social and emotional learning support, she was thrilled to enroll her into our afternoon program.

Once in Scholars After School, Olivia showed a spirit for learning and wanted to be a leader in reading in her class. In addition to Olivia’s commitment to become a better reader, she has other goals such as learning how to type faster, discovering how to cook, and being able to perform handstands on her own. Olivia has big dreams!

Sarah quickly learned that Scholars After School was a place that her granddaughter could thrive. Not only did they find a place that Olivia was safe and happy, they found a family and community that was focused on her education and personal needs.

Olivia’s confidence has grown and she is now reading at grade level and continues to persevere! She is now in her second year participating—still working as hard as ever— in our programs and continues to find her family of friends, whether it is in-person or remote. As her grandmother reflected on this past summer, Olivia’s excitement comes from working on projects with her grandparents, with their personal favorite: building a cardboard castle as a family.

Olivia has bonded with her teachers and other students, where everyone feels like family to her. This support system has provided her with real connection and reassurance for her grandmother. And we hear there is no other place she would rather be after school! Olivia is doing what she knows best — learning.

*Names have been changed for privacy purposes.