Essential Pittsburgh
4:33 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Phase 4 Learning Centers Serve As Last Chance High Schools

Phase 4 Learning Centers have helped troubled students get a chance to excel in a different environment.
Credit Phase 4 Learning Center

Phase 4 Learning Centers are often referred to as last chance high schools by many, but to Phase 4’s founder, Terrie Suica Reed, it’s also their best chance for many troubled students to find success in their high school careers.

Though many students who come into her program come from broken homes or are even homeless, Reed stands firm in her belief that “with the right support, the right network, they can do anything they want to do.”

Reed was able to first see the impact that support could have when, as a student teacher, she began to mentor an at risk 12 year old named Merle Thompson. With Reed’s help Thompson was able to overcome his challenges at home, make his way through school, and has since become a mentor of numerous students in the Phase 4 program. Merle says before he met Reed he “didn’t even really understand what it meant for someone to really want to help somebody,” and credits her support with his ability to make it through.

The success of Phase 4 also seems to back Reed’s statements. The program, which has 6 locations across the state consists entirely of students who are at risk of dropping out of high school all together. It also boasts an eye-popping 98% graduation rate and a 100% placement rate for all graduates.