LEXINGTON, Ky. — A school in Lexington designed for students 16 years and up is helping those not on track to become high school graduates and find successful in the real world.

Two students there are climbing the ladder of success—they didn’t think it was possible after falling behind in their previous schools.

What You Need To Know

  • The Success Academy was founded in 2018

  • School operates in Lexington at 1555 Georgetown Road 

  • Dr. Janice Wyatt-Ross leads the school as program director 

  • 118 students attend the Success Academy 

Success Academy is a school in Lexington that is helping students graduate high school on time, get jobs, and apply to college. The school is specially designed to help students that are not on track to graduate high school and build academic and life skills for a brighter future.

Students Emoniey Garner and Ahlyahna Pleasant enrolled in the academy in the fall of 2021, and with each other by their side, they said anything is possible.

(Left to Right) Emoniey Garner and Ahlyahna Pleasant look at their Chromebooks to see what work they need to complete. (Spectrum News 1/Diamond Palmer)

Students use laptops with a program called Odysseyware to track and complete classwork.

“How about this? I’ll help with an assignment on here and then you help me,” said Garner.

Garner and Pleasant became friends thanks to Success Academy. Pleasant became an ambassador for the school shortly after enrolling and was the one who gave Garner a tour of the school and helped her through the interview process of getting into the school.

They both enrolled as 10th graders, coming from Bryan Station and Tates Creek High School. Garner and Pleasant like to use gym time to catch up with each other between their classes.

“I haven’t really been doing nothing but working,” said Garner.

“Work girl, get that money. Because once I get this job, I’m going to save up and get this place,” said Pleasant.

Founded in 2018, Success Academy helps high school students be the best version of themselves. It’s something Garner and Pleasant say their former high schools weren’t capable of.

Rain drops fall outside of the Success Academy in Lexington. (Spectrum News 1/Diamond Palmer)
Dr. Janice Wyatt-Ross smilies for a photo. (Spectrum News 1/Diamond Palmer)

Program director Dr. Janice Wyatt-Ross leads the academy’s 118 students. Wyatt-Ross has over 28 years of experience teaching, considers it an honor, privilege. 

“Representation matters. We talk to our students all the time about what they want to be in the future. If they can’t see that, if they can’t visualize it, they can’t touch it, interact with it, they can’t talk with it, they don’t see themselves being that professional,” said Wyatt-Ross.

Both Garner and Pleasant know their futures are bright because of Wyatt-Ross. According to the Center for Education Statistics, African-American women only hold 10% of the principalships in U.S. public schools.

“There’s always a way that you could do something, no matter who you are and where you came from,” Pleasant said. “There’s always a way.”

Garner wants it to be known to the people that doubted her that success was always possible. She just needed to be in the right environment.

“You see me in the future and I’m going to be rich. You’re going to want to talk to me and I might help you but I’m going to forgive but I’m not going to forget,” said Garner.

Garner and Pleasant now have people praying for their success. The pair of friends will graduate high school on time next spring and go on to work while attending college.