Cross County High School
One Cross County school has something to be proud of after recently winning a major award at the New Tech Network Annual Conference in Orlando.
The Cross County High School in Cherry Valley won the Chad P. Wick Award for Social Justice.
It is an award given to schools that have success in closing the opportunity gap for under-served students.
Matthew Swenson is the director of the Cross County High School College and Career Access Program, which is a college prep program dedicated to helping students further their education.
He said it’s important for students to have that option.
“It’s not just a dream anymore, it’s becoming a reality to our students,” Swenson said. “Now our job is to support them through those experiences, so we are not just graduating them and saying good luck but what else do you need to be successful and finish.”
Kara Lee is a 2015 graduate who came up through the program when it started, and she said it really motivated her to pursue a degree.
“I really wanted to go to college because my dad didn’t have the opportunity and no one else in my family except for my mom and I felt like it was really important to be a good role model for my little sister,” Lee said.
Lee now goes to Hendrix College and says the program made the early stages of her college career easier.
Swenson said the school winning this award reflects the merits of the program and its goal of helping secure more choices in life for their students.