Heartfelt Thank You to an Anonymous Donor

At Northshore Mall in Peabody, MA, a quiet gentleman has visited Guest Services time and again to make generous contributions to Simon Youth Foundation.  Over time, his dollars turned into hundreds of dollars, and eventually the anonymous donor surpassed the $1,200 mark.  Attentive Simon employees took note, and although the humble patron wishes to remain anonymous, a student at Simon Youth Peabody Learning Academy at Northshore Mall couldn’t... Read More

KDP Names Simon Youth Peabody Learning Academy Director Seith Bedard “Teacher of Honor”

Thirty students at a time: That’s how Mr. B. diligently works to educate at-risk youth in Peabody, Mass.  Class credit by class credit, he and his fellow teachers transform kids who likely would have been dropout statistics into high school graduates. With every new class that crosses the stage to shake his hand and proudly receive their diplomas, it’s easy to see Seith Bedard’s commitment to educating all students. And it’s easy to understand... Read More

What’s the point?

Have you ever questioned why you are putting forth effort towards a goal when times get tough? Jorge Chavez, a graduate from Simon Youth Academy at Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix, Arizona, took a look in the mirror and asked this same question. A high school diploma wasn’t anything but a fancy piece of paper to him. Family responsibilities were more pressing and important than a subject he thought he’d never use. Mere credits away from graduating,... Read More

History Lesson Moves Students

Philosopher and Novelist George Santayana once said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Though sometimes difficult, it is important to learn about historical events that transformed the landscape of the world. World War II and the Holocaust are not pleasant topics with a powerful but not happy ending. Students at Simon Youth Dr. Paul L. Kelley Volunteer Academy at Knoxville Center in Knoxville, Tennessee were tasked... Read More

Nudge in the Right Direction

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” ~ John Wooden  Simon Youth Academy students at one time or another have faced adversity. Death in the family, teen parenthood, or bullying are just a few of the obstacles, but the one thing they all have in common – perseverance. Why they showed up is not nearly as important as... Read More

Brandon Van Vleck Selected as Judson Independent School District Administrator of the Year

“Mr. Van Vleck is an excellent role model and the epitome of a great person with a heart for students,” said Elida Bera, Assistant Superintendent of Judson ISD. The Simon Youth Judson Learning Academy at Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio, Texas Administrator Brandon Van Vleck was awarded the 2013 Administrator of the Year for Judson Independent School District. For the past three years Brandon has made an incredible impact on at-risk youth. Simon... Read More

Della Lefevers celebrates 10th anniversary with SYF

Dedicated, thoughtful, caring, energetic and humble – these are just a few of the words co-workers, colleagues and friends use to describe Della Lefevers. Simon Youth Foundation is proud to recognize Della as she enters her 10th year on staff. Her impact on the success of SYF is immeasurable, but one thing is for sure – the education programs team would not be complete without her daily efforts to make a difference. “Della comes in each... Read More

At the Crossroads

Do you ever have ‘what if’ moments? For example, what if you had made a different decision or went down a different path? For better or worse, your life would be completely different. Sonia Davis thinks about this on a regular basis. Sonia graduated from Simon Youth Judson Learning Academy at Rolling Oaks Mall, San Antonio, Texas in the fall of 2011, but was on a very different path 2009. “Before I went to the Academy, I had been... Read More

Teacher Focus, Mentor Passion

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” Lilly Tomlin, actress and comedian. Simon Youth Academies across the nation have the best teachers and administrators in the profession. They work with at-risk youth to not only earn their high school diploma, but go on to become successful individuals. This dedication can be seen in the eyes of Ronni Miller, a teacher at Rose Tree Media Simon Youth Academy... Read More

SYF Graduate Studies Around the World

Start here. Go anywhere. is what Simon Youth Foundation, through Simon Youth Academies and Simon Youth Scholarships, stresses to students. The concept of this phrase has resonated since 1998 and with more than 10,000 graduates. A prime example of this is Roland Lewinski, a graduate from the Simon Youth Academy at Northgate Mall in Seattle, Washington. He has been in four different countries and two different states in the United States pursuing educational... Read More