At the beginning of this school year, Alex was struggling academically and was referred to CIS NOVA Site Coordinator, Miss Henry. As the year went on, Miss Henry met with Alex and explored ways for him to take ownership of his success. Eventually, Alex proposed an idea: if he met his academic goals this quarter, Miss Henry would have to face him head-to-head in a penalty kick shootout. Knowing Alex’s passion for soccer, Miss Henry gladly accepted the challenge and there was a noticeable shift in Alex’s performance and attitude. Every morning, he reminded Miss Henry of their pact and was eager to give updates on how well he was doing in his classes.

But this story isn’t just about a bet. This unique story highlights the heart of our mission— to unlock students’ potential through transformative relationships and surround them with communities of support.

As the quarter came to a close, Alex surpassed his academic goals. On the last Friday of the quarter,  Miss Henry held up her part of the deal and awarded Alex with a well deserved afternoon out in the soccer field.

As Alex continues working with Miss Henry going into the second half of the year, he has proven to himself that he is capable achieving great things- especially when relationships are at the heart of learning.