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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/ WMGT) – A program that once helped Westside High School students, who were struggling to get credits, is available to high schoolers across Bibb County.
Recently, Dr. Julia Daniely went from principal to SOAR Academy’s director. The change came from sitting in court with a student one day, and while teenagers went before the judge, the judge asked two things: What was the last grade completed? Can you read?
From that moment, Dr. Daniely says she knew she had to bridge the gap of those struggling to finish school.
“I’m a sucker for the under dog,” she said.
The idea for the Twilight Program came about while Dr. Daniely was a principal at Westside High.
“We’re able to get to know the children and have a smaller setting for them and being able to just really know how to develop a holistic plan for the children,” Dr. Daniely said.
It’s an after-school program for students who struggle in school. Whether it be focusing on the material, or issues outside of school causing them to not go to school.
“Developing student leaders, developing work ready students, to work more in the community with families, to remove barriers,” she said.
Even with all of her achievements, while being a principal at Westside High, Dr. Daniely felt she can do more. So she took on a role as SOAR Academy director so she can impact the district at-large with the Twilight Program.
“I began to look at, what else? What do we need to do systemically to close the knowing and doing gap?” Dr. Daniely said. “There’s other lost children, there are children that need more love, there are children that needs a hope, a second chance, another chance. Somebody that won’t judge them for the things that they’ve done. That won’t judge them for what’s on their transcript, but will look at the king in them, the queen in them,” she continued.
Dr. Daniely says by having Twilight, it can help improve the district overall. She hopes one day the program can turn into a non-traditional school.
The program is after-school, from 3:30 to 7:30. Currently, there are 127 students and 10 teachers.
To sign your child up, there’s an application you can get at Westside High School.