Among the challenges low-income families face, access to community resources is just as much a concern as receiving a quality education. This month we celebrate one of the most innovative and successful methods of delivering education with the new AMOR Wellness Center in rural Mendota, Calif.

It is a novel concept that brings a host of community wraparound services under one roof. The new 20,000-sq.-ft. center houses much needed community benefit organizations, agencies and nonprofits – including our school – that will provide essential services including medical, dental, mental, social, family and youth services.

Research indicates that rural students between 12 and 17 have the highest level of drug use in this age group and suffer from poverty and mental health – all which contribute to high dropout rates.

“Just as the pandemic is shining a light on educational challenges in urban communities, we need to take a deeper look at how we’re serving our rural communities that struggle with a one-size-fits-all delivery of education – like Mendota,” stated Michelle Harvey, who is helping FLEX expand its schools throughout the country to serve the most vulnerable students. “There is a huge need with rural students – pandemic or not – and our model of education has proven that we can help change it.”

Written By:
Ann Abajian