Profile of Love

The person God meant her to be

For students at Hope Academy, academic progress is even more remarkable when you know what obstacles a child has overcome along the way. For 12-year-old Stephanie and her sisters, their arrival at the Presbyterian Home was a turning point in a troubled childhood.

Until that time, the girls had endured years of domestic violence and neglect. They had become accustomed to taking care of themselves, often living with random friends and neighbors. The calm and structure at the Home was far different from the neglect that they had known so far in their lives.

Stephanie and her sisters began to acclimate to the Home and to Hope Academy. Stephanie responded to the structure and the focus of Hope Academy. She began making excellent grades, accepting responsibility, and making appropriate decisions.

Stephanie quickly bonded with her houseparents at the Home and her teachers at Hope Academy. They helped her see that she has a lot of potential and the power to make her life whatever she wants it to be.

Today Stephanie is a high school student taking college courses through Hope Academy’s dual enrollment program at Central Alabama Community College. She says she’d like to become a pediatrician or a special education teacher.

“Hope Academy has helped me become the person I am,” said Stephanie, “because people here really want to see us achieve our goals. This makes me want to do whatever it takes to be successful and become an even better person.”

“Stephanie loves to learn,” said Hope Academy English teacher Sandra Hobbs. “She is self-motivated and does not become discouraged when given a difficult assignment.”

I want to show people that they have not wasted their time teaching and caring for me.

According to Education Director Linda Harris, Stephanie will be a candidate for any 4-year college program in the state. “She has watched people make bad choices, observed the consequences, and learned from their experience.”

“If Stephanie continues down the path she has chosen at this point, she will find success throughout her life,” Harris said.

Stephanie is quick to share credit for her success. “Hope Academy has given me more individual attention than I would have received in another school,” she said.

“I am willing to work hard,” she added, “and do anything that needs to be done to reach my goals. I want to show people that they have not wasted their time teaching and caring for me.”