What does it take for a failing class clown who was expelled from school to make honor roll and set his sights on becoming a pediatric surgeon? For Kage, 14, the answer is simple: people who care.
Smaller classes and individual attention from teachers helped Kage realize he was capable of making better grades. But the game changer was the relationships he’s formed in the community around him at the Ranch.
“My social studies teacher goes to my church, so I get to talk to him whenever I want to about when the next test will be and stuff like that,” he said. He likes that teachers will take time to explain details and answer questions. The environment at the Peace Home where he stays has furthered his success, and helped him make honor roll each semester this school year.
“I get a lot more study time at the house and time to think about things,” he said. “I’ll ask my friends in the house to help me if I need it, and sometimes I help them.”
An athletic 9th grader who loves football and skateboarding, Kage looks forward to college. He hopes his success in one of his favorite subject, science, will help him make it into medical school to pursue a career as a pediatric surgeon.
“I love working with kids, and I love science,” Kage said. “So I think being a surgeon would be perfect.”
The spirit of community and the relationships Kage has formed changed his attitude about school and Eagle Ranch. “I hated school. I hated learning,” he recalled. “But I started getting A’s in social studies, and I was doing well in math. I was like, ‘Wow. I can do this.’”
The change is rippling to other areas of his life as well. “I still struggle with acting out and disrespect, but everything is starting to change. It helps that there are a lot of people who care about me here. I just love it here.”