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National Heritage Academies Celebrates 2021 High School Graduates

Between May and June, 385 National Heritage Academies (NHA) seniors joyfully embarked on a new chapter of life as they officially completed their high school education journey.
 
Collectively, graduates attended Arbor Preparatory High School, Canton Preparatory High School, Grand River Preparatory High School, Taylor Preparatory High School, and Wellspring Preparatory High School.
 

Across all NHA high schools, $14,424,587 of scholarship money was earned and students completed over 24,000 volunteer hours.
 
Graduating high school is such an important time for celebration and excitement. “High school graduation is both a culmination of and conclusion to the first big milestone in our students' lives,” said Koree Woodward, director school quality at NHA. “It symbolizes 12+ years of learning, self-development, memories, and relationships. Reaching this point is the result of a great deal of effort, sacrifice, worry, and love from students' families, teachers, friends, and so many other special individuals who pour into students.”
 

Woodward encourages students to reflect on challenges and failures, things they struggled with, and then to acknowledge and celebrate how those moments or events helped them grow and build resilience and confidence. “Knowing they can indeed do and/or overcome hard things in life is incredibly powerful for our students as they take their next steps in life,” she said.
 

As students look ahead at this next chapter in their lives, they should be most excited that they have choices. Woodward shared that every student graduates with an acceptance letter to college, and that's a viable option for anyone who wants it. “We also help students explore other paths such as certificate and trade programs, military options, and more,” she said.
 
At graduation, students were recognized for a variety of special factors including honors, National Honor Society, blood donor, bilingual, and more.
 

Two graduation highlights include Tyler Holland, graduate from Taylor Prep, who received over 1 million dollars in scholarship money. Another graduate from Taylor Prep, Deidre Crockett, received a full ride to Wayne State and her doctorate and medical school is paid for.
 
In an effort to provide multiple pathways for students, NHA high schools offer the Early College Program (ECP), a five-year educational plan that allows students to complete high school in three years and go on to earn an associate degree or certificate – tuition-free. Kinsey Gerber and Brooklyn Batdorff, seniors at Wellspring Prep, are both in the Early College Program and in the Senior Academic Top 10 for the Class of 2021!
 

In the 2021 NHA graduating classes, there were four 13th-year graduates from the ECP, one student who earned an associate degree, and three students who earned a Michigan Early Middle College Associate Certificate. Twelve students are moving on to the 13th year from senior class, and 120 college courses were passed amongst the 13th year and 12th grade students, 118 of which were Early College and two Dual Enrollment.