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Hope Academy graduates look forward to bright future

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) New graduates from the Hope Academy are now looking toward a bright future, beating the odds.

The Hope Academy helps pregnant and parenting teens navigate what can be a daunting challenge: Finishing high school. That’s something only 40% of teen mothers are able to do nationwide. The program provides academics, transportation, child development education, college prep and life skills groups, and a literacy-based childcare component for the children of the students.

With her son in hand at The Hope Academy commencement, Hailey Nelson says receiving her diploma is one of the best feelings she has ever had. “It feels fabulous. I didn’t think I would going to make it to it and I’m really proud of myself for sticking through it and getting it because it feels awesome.” Nelson also has a message to other teen moms, “It does get hard. It’s not easy, I can say that, but as long as you push through it and keep going, you are going to get through it and you are going to graduate which is the greatest feeling ever.”

Four students graduated from The Hope Academy for the Class of 2019. Each of them will also walk at their own high school commencements.

Travis Judell

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