Key used to attend a large public high school. She liked her teachers and had a lot of friends, but when an unhealthy relationship started to distract her from school, her grades suffered. She fell further and further behind until her graduation was put in jeopardy.
After leading the juvenile justice system, David was jumping from school to school. Nothing felt right, David didn't feel accepted or supported, and his grades fell as a result.
A new school year brings new beginnings, and Key and David were both ready for a fresh start at Loring Nicollet Alternative School (LNAS), one of PPL's two Alternative High Schools. Hesitant at first, both quickly realized just how different LNAS was from their previous traditional schools.
"What changed my perspective was that LNAS has an authentic feeling of people trying to help," said David. "People do what they say they are going to do."
At LNAS, Key and David were able to take advantage of classes and services to support their academic and personal growth. Both are now taking courses at Minneapolis college to earn post-secondary credits. They are also participating in PPL's work readiness programs to prepare for success after graduation. Mental and chemical health supports are also available for interested students.
For Key, she loves the closeness and support everyone gets.
"I love that it's small. If I need one-on-one help, I can get it right away. The staff is amazing, and it's great to see students working toward their goals. This environment has helped me reach my goals."
By supporting each other, Key and David have formed a community at LNAS. "I've benefited from David being in my life," said Key. "I see how hard he works, how much he does to reach his goals. That's part of my inspiration of going to LNAS and getting stuff done." David chimes in, smiling, "I'd be lonely if you weren't in it with me."
To all the students starting a new school year, David has some advice: "Stay focused, regardless of how much work you have to do. Do whatever keeps you happy, and maintain that as long as it's a good thing - try and see the light at the end of the road. I was right there, and now I'm here, and you can do the same thing."
LNAS was the new beginning Key and David needed to turn the page and unleash the drive they've always had inside. Soon they will face another new beginning, with new possibilities: graduation this spring.