By: Staci Cretu, A&PA
With almost 40 percent of high school students who fail to graduate with their class, the U.S. Army 1st Recruiting Brigade and PHASE 4 America, Inc. have partnered to improve this epidemic throughout Pennsylvania. PHASE 4 America, an accredited alternative education center formed to provide education for at-risk youth, is now positioned as a non-compensated partner of the U.S. Army in developing, assessing, implementing and supporting education-related partnerships and programs for at- risk youth.
“It is estimated that 1.3 million people will drop out of school during this current school year. That’s a significant number of families and communities that will endure a long-term negative impact – and that’s just this year.” said Terrie Suica-Reed, president and CEO of PHASE 4 America Inc.
The partnership between the Army and PHASE 4 was formed due to the commitment of both the U.S. Army 1st Recruiting Brigade and PHASE 4, both realizing the long-term efforts of the Department of the Army as the Department of Defense’s lead organization in terms of developing innovative education-related partnerships and programs.
As Reed spoke to Col. Frank Hall, commander of the U.S. Army 1st Recruiting Brigade, about this partnership, she was very appreciative to have this opportunity and to take a larger part of improving the education of today’s youth and the long-term security and success of our nation.
“The Army, as it does with other local organizations, will work with PHASE 4 to improve current relationships with private and non-profit foundations to develop new and innovative education related concepts and programs to continue to improve drop-out rates and support for those young people who choose a military option.” said Suica-Reed.
Like the Army, PHASE 4 has demonstrated success at developing at-risk youth both educationally and socially to be successful in work and life. Terrie Suica-Reed’s program holds a 98 percent graduation rate and a 100 percent placement rate with 13 percent entering the military.
“PHASE 4 is a valued partner in education and this partnership is the teaming of like-minded organizations both working to provide the very best for the youth in America. We want every young person to have the ability to reach their full potential.” said Hall.
PHASE 4 Learning Center’s mission is to provide an exceptional education for at-risk youth that focuses on their academic, social, behavioral and future needs, enabling them to stay in school and graduate from high school prepared to become caring and contributing members of the community. PHASE 4 Learning Center, Inc., was recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as one of the ten models for “Best Practices” in alternative education in the state, and in 2006 received full accreditation by the Middle States Association. Ranked number 1 for the past two years largest private school in the region by Pittsburgh Business Times, PHASE 4 is proud to be part of the Simon Youth Foundation’s mall school programs – honored by the National Dropout Prevention Centers Network in 2009 as one of 11 exemplary programs nationwide.