Last year's record setting graduating class of 214 students was shattered this past week as 289 graduates received their diplomas during two separate ceremonies, with another one scheduled for this upcoming week. The Lakeland campus ceremony was held at Highland Park Church of the Nazarene, Lakeland, Florida with over 1,000 friends and family members in attendance. A few days later, the Davenport campus graduation ceremony was held at Polk State College, Winter Haven, Florida with roughly 2,500 friends and family members gathering to cheer the graduates on!  Gause Academy will celebrate their graduation on May 30th.

"The energy at the graduation ceremonies was pretty powerful. These students, who had previously dropped out of high school, were cheered on by over 3,500 friends and family members. Without the Fresh Start program, their life trajectory would be markedly different," said Kevin Bauman, Senior Director of Penn Foster High School.

The Polk County Fresh Start program is just that, a fresh start for former high school dropouts. These graduates were given a fresh start and earned their high school diploma through a revolutionary partnership with Penn Foster High School. Students who have dropped out of high school, or who are at risk of dropping out are re-engaged with the school district and offered an online curriculum delivered in a classroom setting. By working at their own pace, with the support of an instructor, students who have difficulty learning or focusing in a traditional classroom setting actually thrive and progress through the program.

Congratulations to the graduates and their families, and the Polk County school district for working to improve high school graduation rates.










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