Harmony Academy, Oregon's first recovery high school, was recently awarded a $2,000 grant from Walmart Neighborhood Market Giving.
Harmony Academy Office Manager Denise Maher, who oversaw the grant application, said the funds would be used for school meals and other supplies.
The charter school is funded partially by per-pupil state allocations. A combination of grants and donations make up the rest. Maher said the grant, which the school has now received three times, is very helpful.
Because of COVID-19 precautions, all food the school gives the students has to be pre-packaged, and grant monies will help cover the cost of not being able to make the food themselves.
Harmony Academy serves students in grades 9-12 in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties who are in recovery from substance use disorder. Although the school has only been in existence for two school years, Maher said it's made an impact in the lives of students and their families. In the 2020-21 school year, Harmony had a 30-person enrollment and 11 graduates.
"I had a woman — her son graduated, and she came up to me and she said, 'My son would not be alive if it wasn't for Harmony Academy and I'm watching him graduate.' This is a very special place," Maher said.
She said many of the staff are themselves in long-term recovery, so they understand the students' struggles. The school has a focus on recovery and provides individualized support to students while also equipping them with the tools they need to graduate.
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