AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Over the past 13 years.. SOAR Academy has taken education to new heights by providing a different way of learning for local students.
“Kids don’t need quite so much seat time to be successful. They need the field trips. They need exposure to art, music, sports. They need hands on learning all the way up. Doing it in a non-traditional way worked for me. I still went to college and was very successful. I’m here to show that every child does not learn the same way. But, they can still be successful in the real world,” explains SOAR Academy Founder Kenisha Skaggs.
SOAR Academy is touted as a non-traditional private school serving students in the second through 12th grades.
“We teach all the core subjects but we also teach character building, life skills, real world application and we do therapy services, social emotional support and everything to get the whole person ready for the real world.”
It all started in the attic of Kenisha Skaggs’ house.
“Parents caught wave of it really quickly that I was homeschooling in my attic. That very next year I opened up my own space by Evans High School. Then, we went to Columbia Road for 4,000 square feet. Now, we have over 8,000 square feet thanks to the YASS prize, a huge grant award we won last year that enabled us to not only expand but receive funding from the state, so now our program is more affordable for kids with IEPs and 504s to come to SOAR Academy.”
Since opening, SOAR Academy has helped more than 500 students.
Kenisha Skaggs says while her school takes a different approach to learning the path leads to the same goals of success for students.
“I really want to inspire kids with ADHD, dyslexia and autism that even though they learn differently they can still be successful.”
Parent Joesther White says Kenisha Skaggs and SOAR Academy have made a big difference for her son C.J.
She says, “but, I’ve seen his self confidence improve, his anxiety has decreased and he likes to read now, he says a lot of big vocabulary words and he’s in 7th grade here. This is his second year. The only regret I have is I wish I had found out about SOAR Academy prior to him going to 5th grade.”
Skaggs adds, “Neurodiversity is not going anywhere. There’s more ADHD cases, more autism and they need schools that can accommodate those kids. Most kids do well in public schools. We love it. But, when it doesn’t work, what do we have for those parents? Right now, there are not a lot of options.”
While Kenisha Skaggs is using her business to help students soar she encourages aspiring women business owners to spread their wings and take the leap.
She says the key is to never stop learning.
“I’m always listening to podcasts and videos on YouTube. That keeps me inspired. Even though it’s hard running your own business you’re making an impact and that’s what matters.”
SOAR Academy hasn’t finished growing.
Kenisha Skaggs and her husband are opening locations in Aiken County and Oklahoma.
To learn more about SOAR Academy go to https://soaracademy.net/