Chad Dawson

Chad Dawson came to Acceleration Academies in June 2017 to pass the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA), a Florida requirement for a high school diploma. Chad’s first experience with a public high school was at 17 when he moved from living with his parents in rural Alabama to living in Port St. Lucie, Florida. He went from a class of 30 students in Alabama to a class of 2,700 in Florida.

Not only was Chad transitioning into a huge public high school and meeting new people, he was working two jobs to support himself. Chad constantly felt behind in his new school and at two weeks left of school he was failing every class. He kept telling himself that he left Alabama to prove he can be successful in life. Despite passing all of his classes, he failed the reading portion of the FSA which prevented him from earning his high school diploma.

Chad heard about Acceleration Academies when he went to his counselor to discuss his options to earn a high school diploma. Chad heard of programs to help him but they cost too much money. His counselor explained to him that Acceleration Academies was a free program that will help him study to retake and pass the FSA.

He went to Acceleration Academies and signed up for the program. The biggest difference he saw between Acceleration Academies and his public high school was that everyone at Acceleration Academies cared deeply about his success. Unlike public high schools where teachers have limited time for one-on-one support, Acceleration Academies offers only one-on-one support. Acceleration Academies also allowed him to continue to work two jobs to support himself while studying. After a summer at Acceleration Academies, Chad was able to pass the FSA and earn his high school diploma. Just days after earning his diploma, Chad started college to pursue a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.

Chad’s best advice for anyone thinking about foregoing a high school diploma is to picture where they want to be in five, ten and twenty years. Everyone has to think about what they want in the future when making important decisions today. Dig deep and work hard now for your future so you can have the life you want to have.