Back On Track: New Orleans’ Posh Academy Helps LGBT Students Complete GED

Posh Academy scholars Keira Dixon and Akayla Franklin practice solving for X. Credit: Mallory Falk

Posh Academy scholars Keira Dixon and Akayla Franklin practice solving for X. Credit: Mallory Falk

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students often report facing hostile school environments. As a result, many say they leave or get pushed out.

The Posh Academy in New Orleans is giving young people such as Lhundyn Fernandez and Keira Dixon an option for earning a GED and moving on to higher education or better employment. The academy was launched by BreakOUT!, a nonprofit addressing issues facing LBGT youth.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

For Fernandez, 23, Posh is place of acceptance.

“No matter who you are, you will be accepted. You always worry about being accepted. Once that worry goes away, you are free to learn,” Fernandez says.

Dixon, 25, says Posh works because she’s around people with whom she can identify.

Lhundyn Fernandez shows off the whiteboard tracking scholars' hours. Once they reach 40, they're ready to take the HiSET exam. Credit: Mallory Falk

Lhundyn Fernandez shows off the whiteboard tracking scholars’ hours. Once they reach 40, they’re ready to take the HiSET exam. Credit: Mallory Falk

“It’s a family oriented kind of thing, so it’s not like anyone feels out of place,” Dixon says. “You know you’re not going to be outcasted or ridiculed for what you don’t know or how you look.”

“I don’t think anyone is going to have a problem with being teased at Posh Academy. You just won’t.”

Dixon says she plans to study nursing after completing Posh Academy.

Fernandez says college is on the horizon, but there are more immediate plans.

“Once I graduate, there’s going to be some job applications filled out. I see a better future for myself,” Fernandez says.

This series is supported by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It’s presented for American Graduate Day, an event on airways around the country October 3, to raise awareness of the importance of high school graduation.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>