Taylor Williams came to the Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy (MJBA) in Cleveland with major challenges. A single mom, she had to work to support herself, making attendance at school next to impossible. And despite repeatedly taking the Ohio Graduation tests for math and science, she had not been able to pass, and was in danger of “aging out” of high school.

“At Magic Johnson Bridgescape, we look into why a student hasn’t succeeded, and then modify the coursework and goals to help each individual get back on pace to graduate,” explains Karim Todd, who oversees enrollment at Ohio’s six MJB locations.

The staff at the Cleveland MJBA adjusted Taylor’s school schedule so she could still work and go to school. Next, they tailored her coursework to help her prepare for blog3_insidephoto2her testing and earn her remaining course credits. They learned Taylor qualified for accommodations through her IEP that had not been enforced at her prior school. With these in place, Taylor was able to pass her tests and graduate high school.

Today, Taylor is a student at the Paul Mitchell School studying to become a licensed cosmetologist. “Bridgescape made me realize that I have another road to walk down,” she explains, “the road towards success.”

Students enroll in MJB academies for many different reasons. Some students, like Taylor, are facing overwhelming personal and family commitments; others are affected by distractions or social challenges or just need more one-on-one instruction and flexibility. 

Iteisha Jefferson, program director for two MJB academies Cleveland, explains how each MJB student receives a fresh start: “When I see a student walk through those doors, I get a sense that they were judged on the mistakes they made in the past.  Many students are initially resistant because of past experiences.  We wrap our arms around our students and let them know that they have a clean slate with us. We allow them to shine!  I will not allow students to fail due to the lack of support.”