Leading the Charge: Heather Young helps students achieve graduation goals

Kendell Simpson and Heather McQuinn

The over 3000 high school students attending Noblesville High School rush to their classrooms in the early morning. Down the road at the Community Center, Heather Young, the administrator at the Miller Success Academy, is helping to educate the students who are beginning their school day. 

Young outlines the logistics of the academy as, “…an alternative option or opportunities for students to be successful and reach the goal of graduation.”  

Young has been a public school administrator for more than 10 years. When she was asked to be a part of the Miller Success Academy, she jumped at the chance. 

“I’ve always had a passion to help students who sometimes feel that they are unheard and unseen. This is probably my second time working in an alternative school setting. This is where my passion resides, I don’t want anyone falling through the cracks,” Young said.

The Miller Success Academy can help many students in different ways.    

“We have students who are credit deficient, we have students who have mental health issues. They might suffer from anxiety and depression and we just have some students who just don’t fit into the student school. It’s just too big and they don’t have the connectedness and they just struggle with that,” Young said. “It’s like putting a square pig into a circle pen; it just doesn’t work for a variety of reasons.” 

The Miller Success Academy recently received a grant from Noblesville Schools Education Foundation for $500.

“The grant is called ‘Your Future’s So Bright’ and it’s a way to fund interview attire for students to make sure they have proper attire for a job interview. Sometimes we think you can just go into McDonalds in shorts and a t-shirt and you still might get the job, but we still know that looking your best sends a positive message to employers. We want to make sure that we set our students up for success and look the part to be able to obtain employment,” Young said.

One of Young’s main goals in the Miller Success Academy is to defeat the common stereotypes that are displayed in the media.

“Oftentimes we see things on tv of destruction but our students are great students just like the ones at the high school.  We want to push students to do their very best,” Young said. “They are still a part of the highschool in every way, just their day is a little different.”