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Evans, GA: "Neurodiverse academy" receives $500K award

Apr 18, 2023, WRDW, Augusta, GA: Local neurodiverse academy receives award for funding programs

EVANS, Ga. A local private school is getting ready to celebrate after receiving half a million dollars in 2022.

SOAR Academy received a STOP Award from the Yass Prize Foundation. It awards funding to non-traditional schools doing innovative things.

We stopped by the academy to see how it’s providing education to neurodiverse students.

For eighth grader Carter Hazuda, school hasn’t always been easy.

“I went to public school and didn’t have the best experience,” he said. “It was just a struggle to learn and comprehend things like the other students in the school.”

After going from public school to private school to school at home ...

“We finally found SOAR,” he said.

It’s a school that serves students with autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, depression, or any other neurodiversity.

“It’s been a great experience,” he said….

Kenisha Skaggs is the founder and director of SOAR Academy. She said, “If we can be more flexible and slow everything down, it seems to work. By us providing that one-on-one intervention, and being willing to take them back to the foundation, without making them feel small, it’s huge.”

It’s helping students like Hazuda soar.

“I was so behind whenever I came here. I was like multiple grades behind from what I was supposed to be,” he said.

In just a school year’s time.

If you’re interested in learning more about the school or helping them celebrate this award, they will be having a celebration with horseback riding, arts and crafts, and sensory-friendly activities on April 20 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.


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