CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Tuloso-Midway Academic Career Center is the school district's best-kept secret nestled away between industry.
Inside ACC, it's bursting with creative ways to engage students from morning yoga to the elusive school cat.
The school of no more than 40 students is not a disciplinary campus. It is a campus that lends a helping hand when no else can.
Every student comes with their own set of circumstances.
"'What brought you to ACC?' I have a little girl. She is two," 16-year-old Amari Garcia said.
"I've been back and forth from schools," 17-year-old Gabriella Garrison said.
"Like, my attendance and my grades," 17-year-old James Ponce said.
"I had gotten pregnant," 16-year-old Candice Huckman said.
"Most of them are in a situation where there is no way the number of credits that they need they can graduate with there class," principal Melodie McClarren said.
When a child is accepted into ACC, they have a schedule tailored to fulfill the exact credits they need to graduate from high school.
The student's credit requirements are posted on a wall, and when one is fulfilled, a sticker is put in its place to document progress.
The students can complete their course work at their own pace with the help of a customized curriculum made by their teacher.
"This is going to be lessons three and four, so the kids have a hard copy of this, but these are printed out in color because I think it helps, and they will work through these lessons. Just go through all the different packets, and eventually, they'll get there course completion and be done," science teacher Laura Collins said.
ACC has a zero percent drop out rate and a 100 percent graduation rate.
"What makes this place special for you?' It's the teachers," 18-year-old Jacob Garcia said.
"They treat us all like family," 17-year-old Issac Benavides said.
"I feel close to all of them," 17-year-old Angel Medina said.
"If you love these kids and you give them that opportunity, it is amazing what you'll get out of them," Collins said.
ACC not only gets students up to speed academically, but they teach them skills they'll use in everyday life.
"A lot of schools now are doing the adulting 101 class, and we've been doing that for a long time," McClarren said.
"What does your future look like after here?' I want to study physics, mathematics, and philosophy, and I want to become a theoretical physicist," 14-year-old Gwen Gallaugher said.
"Technology engineer and business, so I'm able to start my own gaming company," 17-year-old Adrian Andradge said.
"You know, like, not having to worry about money, have a good job, and like actually graduate college," 17-year-old James Ponche said.
Before attending ACC, goals may have seemed far fetched, but they have helped make them attainable.
"We love these kids like they are our own, and there is no better job. There is no better job," McClarren said.
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