Scholar Stories

Every day, five hundred young people prove it’s possible across Massachusetts.

They prove that all people, regardless of background, past decisions, or challenging life circumstances, can rise to meet high academic expectations. They prove that all teenagers can graduate high school and succeed in college. They excel in their classes by demonstrating incredible grit and determination, often commuting over an hour to get to school, managing pressing family obligations, or working late shifts after a 9-to-4 school day. They fearlessly embrace positive change to develop true scholarship and reach their dreams.


Despite these challenges, our students come to school every day, push through rigorous classes, graduate high school, and excel in college.

  • Destiny Morton, Phoenix Lawrence ‘16, used to be suspended more than she was in school. After being  suspended indefinitely for hitting a teacher and denied from Lawrence High School, Destiny discovered Phoenix Academy Lawrence and decided to give it a chance. While transitioning to the high expectations and rigor was difficult, Destiny credits those very expectations and strong culture of support for helping turn her life around.  Now a freshman at Brandeis University’s in  the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program, Destiny is determined to prove that being born, raised, and educated in Lawrence is not shameful, or embarrassing–nor is it an indicator of what one is capable of.

  • Jazzmin Hernandez, Phoenix Chelsea ‘14, is now a junior at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. In 2012, motivated by the birth of her daughter, Averyanna, Jazzmin decided to reinvest in her education after previously dropping out of multiple high schools. Coming to Phoenix Chelsea was a transformative experience for Jazzmin, “I needed to do this for myself and my daughter. I want my daughter to have better doors and more options. I’ve had a whole attitude adjustment–this school really helped to give me hope for the future.” Crediting the high expectations of her teachers, Jazzmin was able to turn her life around in two years at Phoenix and graduate in 2014 when she was 22 years old.

  • Jose Ramirez, Phoenix Chelsea ‘12, has come a long way since dropping out of East Boston high school. After two years out of school, Jose came to Phoenix with a fallback plan of getting his GED, but instead excelled immediately. He credits his passion for math and science to his first Phoenix teachers and his success in college to the rigor, resources Phoenix provided, such as NuVu program and MIT and dual-enrollment at BHCC. Now a senior at Northeastern University, Jose is about to graduate with a Bachelors in Computer Engineering and Minor in Mathematics, and he currently serves on Phoenix’s Young Associate’s Board.

  • Fredy Javier Rodriguez Diaz, Phoenix Chelsea ‘14, has come a long way to earn his school diploma. Born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Javier spent his childhood moving between homes of aunts and uncles throughout the country and was out of school for 3 years after first grade. He eventually moved to the US to join his mother at age 19 and upon arriving in Boston Javier’s first priority was to enroll in school. Finding an institution that would accept his age and language skills was challenging however. Luckily, Javier stumbled upon a pamphlet for Phoenix in his local church one day, and was thrilled to learn he could enroll. While improving his English skills was initially challenging, Javier learned at a rapid pace and quickly grew in his ability to communicate with others. “I studied on my own, and I watched other people to learn from them.” The first in his family to attend college, Javier now attends Salem State University, where he is majoring in psychology and minoring in law.

  • Diamond Correa, Phoenix Springfield ‘16, moved to Massachusetts from Florida when she was just a baby. She loved school and did well, but things changed in middle school. Bullying, peer pressure, and all sorts of things got in the way, and even through high school, she lost motivation. At 17, she got pregnant, and decided to make a change. This meant restarting high school from scratch, and it wasn’t easy. She tried freshman year twice at two different schools, and then she heard about Phoenix. Phoenix brought Diamond back on track. She caught up on all her work in two years, just in time to graduate with the Springfield campus founding class. Now, she’s in a pre-nursing program at Springfield Technical Community College, and plans to become a registered nurse.