Prior to Josiah attending New Way Academy, we started to realize his school did not have the resources to assist with his academic needs. The system began to penalize Josiah and exclude him from his peers in class. At one point we were horrified to discover that the well-meaning staff at the school separated Josiah from the rest of the class and had him face the wall to “help him focus”. Unfortunately, all that did was bring more attention to his learning differences and his peers began to notice.
At the tender age of 12, this sweet natured and social boy began to feel ostracized as if there was something terribly wrong with him. He felt different and began to exhibit signs of depression and severe anxiety. Before entering New Way Academy, Josiah’s self-confidence was shattered. He felt like a failure and for the first time he began calling himself “stupid.”
Josiah’s first visit to New Way Academy was enlightening. For the first time in a long time, he felt included, accepted and understood by the staff and his school peers. At New Way, Josiah felt safe and loves going to school each day. He speaks often about the inclusive and loving environment and how he feels like he fits in and has made many friends. As parents, we cannot even begin to express the gratitude and the relief we feel knowing our son is happy and feeling successful at school again.
As for his academics, Josiah continues to soar in his studies and classes. His reading ability continues to increase as well as his understanding of mathematics. The different therapies offered at New Way Academy continue to improve Josiah’s speech and motor skills. He adores his teachers and they adore him.
Josiah is in his second year at New Way Academy and his whole demeanor has changed. Now 14, he is a young man with purpose and confidence. He has a love for learning that we had feared was lost in his prior school experience.
We are forever grateful for New Way Academy and for organizations such as Arizona Leadership Foundation that afford him this opportunity through scholarships. Josiah would not be able to attend and receive the help he needs without this assistance. Thank you for making a difference in our son’s life!