Educators at Alger B. Wilkins High School believe that relationships can make all the difference. The school incorporates the Communities in Schools’ caring philosophy combining strong personal relationships between staff and students with a focus on academic achievement.
That extra care was just what Aiana Abron needed to succeed. After a rough start in high school, she will graduate from Wilkins this year thanks to her determination and the teachers, counselors and staff members who went above and beyond to help her.
“The accomplishment I’m most proud of is getting back into school and actually pushing myself to the finish line,” Aiana says. “I want to be remembered by the leadership I have instilled in me and the way I helped the people around me.”
Wilkins serves high school students like Aiana who are not succeeding in a traditional school setting. Using a 4x4 schedule, they help students catch up academically and graduate on time with their peers. In the 4x4 scheduling model, also known as block scheduling, students take four 90-minute courses per day over four quarters rather than eight 45-minute classes per day over two semesters.
“Aiana Abron is a determined young lady,” says Zakira Cruz, counselor at Wilkins High School. “She came to A.B. Wilkins as a sophomore and will be graduating in May. She came with a mindset set on success and catching up academically. She used the Wilkins platform exactly for what it is designed for -- to allow students to progress at a faster pace in order to catch up so they can graduate. She is a model for her peers and comes each day with a positive disposition.”
After graduation, Aiana plans to attend college. She wants to study social work or law.
“I want to tell anyone who is in the process of graduating, please just keep pushing,” Aiana says. “There is a way. Every day isn’t going to be sunshine, but every day is not going to be a rainy day. Get you a goal and push toward it. I’m not just telling you this. I am the walking testimony.”
As Aiana moves to her next phase, she can look back on her time at Wilkins High with a smile. She is thankful for teachers who taught her not only academics but important life lessons. She says the school gave her the resources she needed to graduate, and her teachers prepared her well.
In partnership with Communities in Schools, Wilkins High School uses a proven community development approach to support education by unifying resources around children, families, and schools as a support system to help young people realize their full potential and take responsibility for their future.
Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories about the Standout Seniors of 2022 as selected by Cumberland County Schools.