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“Back to School” Mercy Style

“Back to School” Mercy Style

August 11, 2016

Mercy Teacher and Resident

Nashville Mercy resident Sarah and Mercy’s Director of Education, Brenda Collins

It’s that time of year again. For students all across the U.S., summer vacation has come or will be coming to an end soon to make way for a new school year.

At Mercy Multiplied, “back to school” follows a more customized calendar to accommodate each resident’s situation.

Each minor accepted to Mercy is required to continue their education during their stay. Mercy’s Education Department is recognized by the state of Tennessee as a Category 4 school and is a member of TANAS (Tennessee Association of Non-Public Academic Schools), an association approved by the state.

“We work year round, only because most of the minors are behind and trying to make up credits and because they actually only come to me six hours a week,” said Brenda Collins, Mercy’s Director of Education. “However, some will be on course and do not necessarily need to do school work, but usually they will come and work on ACT test prep and remedial subject review during the summer.”

Depending on how many credits residents have upon arriving at the Nashville Mercy home, Collins works with girls individually to come up with an educational plan. This can include taking the HiSet (the state of Tennessee’s version of the GED), taking high school classes online, continuing courses from the school where the student is currently enrolled, or a combination of these choices.

Current Nashville Mercy resident Sarah dropped out of high school twice before coming to Mercy. She remembers loving school, especially math classes and her middle school literary group, until issues occurring at home caused her to fall behind. Sarah couldn’t get through a single class without feeling her anxiety and eating disorder threatening to take over. Her junior year of high school, she was hospitalized and decided to drop out and work full-time in the fashion industry.

Mercy resident Sarah

Sarah in Mercy’s classroom, where she worked to complete her HiSet exam

When Sarah came to Mercy at age 17, she panicked at the realization that she would have to continue her education. Sarah started taking high school classes online, but quickly jumped at the opportunity to work towards her HiSet after evaluating her situation with Collins.

Previous to finding a new passion for her education at Mercy, Sarah would have a hard time keeping up with her fellow students. Last week, she successfully completed her HiSet exam with two hours to spare.

After graduating from Mercy on August 17th, Sarah plans on attending community college to pursue a degree in psychology. Her dream is to be a psychologist for the Special Victims Unit.

When asked what changed for her, Sarah responded, “You are more capable than you think you are.”

To Collins, seeing Sarah and her other Mercy students achieve and grow beyond their expectations is rewarding, no matter how they come “back to school.” “The most fulfilling part of my work at Mercy is being a part of the residents’ journeys and watching the transformations that God creates in them while here,” she said.

To learn more about Mercy Multiplied’s residential program, including its education component, please click here.

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