Quote below is from Tyler's mom
Tyler A.G. is a current Stanbridge high school freshman who first entered our school as an upper elementary student in 2014. Like many of our students, Tyler's experiences at schools prior to Stanbridge were not positive—ignored and unmotivated, he was frequently bullied because of his learning differences.
Tyler quickly took a shine to Stanbridge once he enrolled, and grew to be an outgoing, positive student, who quickly bonded with his classmates here whom he recognized had been through similar experiences at their previous schools. By the time he reached the eighth grade, Tyler proved to be a natural leader both in the classroom and on the experiential trips. His peers chose him to represent the eighth grade graduates as their class speaker at our 2018 commencement ceremony, and below is Tyler's story, told in his own words, taken from the text of his speech:
"A year, 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months, and four quarters, time passed, but this is not the first year I’ve been here, this is my fourth. Let me put into context my situation and what I’ve been through.
"At my old school, I felt separated, uninvited, and ignored; sometimes I was even bullied for my learning differences. I had many more problems with the conditions I have today, so it was hard for me. Some people did help me, but I felt utterly overwhelmed. My Mom and I knew that I needed somewhere to feel welcomed, so, after about almost a year of looking, we found Stanbridge. As soon as I walked in, I saw that things were far less hectic and more welcoming. Every student had a story similar to mine. I bonded with most of the kids. So in 2014, I joined.
"The teachers are wonderful, and their radiant presence brings a smile to every kid no matter their attitude or walks, I plan on staying here as long as possible because everyone here is me—the kid who was ignored, cast away, or even bullied. This school helped heal my trauma, because its friendly environment reinforced positivity. It did not condemn negativity for when I was, to put it lightly, a little off the path.
"Stanbridge has counselors for when we are sad, and privacy for when we are mad. Trauma for many of the children at this school has also been reduced and or eliminated. We are the seeds of knowledge, and the teachers here are the water, helping us grow. They reach our mind with knowledge and information on how our world works, and they touch our hearts, with love, care, and understanding.
"This is why this school has so many returning students. We love this place, however, when we feel like we are prepared for the world, or we graduate, we leave. I’d hate to leave Stanbridge, but, eventually, at some point, we all have to. But you know what? Some former students have actually loved our school so much, they are working here!
Stanbridge does not give you ten thousand pages of homework to do in a day (my personal favorite). Stanbridge helps you to become a confident person, so that we, as a community, overcome issues with care instead of apathetic rationality.
"It is truly the place to be since kids with learning differences similar to ours, or those who still have challenges socializing, talking, or enacting their emotions need a school like Stanbridge. I love this school! They don’t ignore us; they don’t discriminate; they for sure are not ableist, and they—no, we—are one whole community! We are Stanbridge!"