By Ruth Ann Ruiz
The Post Newspaper Features Editor
This marks Kathy Whatley’s 16th year as the founder and principal of a nontraditional high school. The students at Upward Hope Academy are into their second week of classes for fall 2022.
Why does she keep opening the doors of the school every year? Why does she give tirelessly of herself to her students? “Because I believe in their worth. There’s value in all people and these kids are smart they just haven’t used their smarts yet,” said Principal Whatley.
Her students come from backgrounds that find them without a lot of options if they want to get a high school diploma. A dominating factor for most of the student body population is the lack of resources at home.
Whatley keeps a food closet, which is usually packed from floor to ceiling with simple supplies such as noodles in a cup and canned stew. Now she gazes into the empty supply room wondering how she will provide for her students who need to take food home.
The school is a non-profit, private school with no tuition charged to the students. If you would like to contribute you may reach the school at: 409 497-4393 or Cathy@UpwardHopeAcademy.com