Merrill Adult Academy plays important role in the community

The Merrill Adult Diploma Academy is completing its third year of operations and continues to provide the Merrill area with valuable educational services to the people who need these services the most.

The Merrill Adult Diploma Academy (MADA) opened in the fall of 2007 as an innovative charter school operated by the Merrill Area Public Schools. The purpose of the charter school is to provide high school dropouts, many who have relocated to Merrill from other communities, with an opportunity to better their lives by earning a high school diploma. Despite humble beginnings, MADA has grown to become financially viable for the school district and continues to change the lives of more and more young adults in our area.

Merrill High School has enjoyed a very high graduation rate over the past several years but there continue to be a number of people residing in our community without a high school diploma. Young people drop out of high school for a wide variety of reasons but soon discover that their prospects for a productive life, particularly in these challenging economic times, are very limited without a high school diploma. Over the past three years, MADA has turned dozens of high school dropouts in the Merrill community into high school graduates. By doing so, students have increased opportunities to pursue meaningful employment in the community, require far less support services from the community, and have the opportunity to pursue post secondary education for the first time in their lives. Each and every graduate of the Merrill Adult Diploma Academy has taken advantage of the opportunities that have been provided to them and value the high school diploma they have earned.

Equally exciting for the community is the partnership that was created between North Central Technical College and the Merrill Adult Diploma Academy in the winter of 2009. This partnership helped ensure the financial feasibility of MADA and provided much needed educational services to older adults in the Merrill community at a time when many workers were being downsized or displaced. As a result of this partnership, hundreds of people in the Merrill community have been able to brush up on basic educational skills in preparation for future employment, have been able to attend job seeking classes, have developed computer skills, or have been able to earn a high school equivalency diploma.

The Merrill Adult Diploma Academy looks forward to serving the Merrill Community and making a difference in people’s lives for years to come. This little charter school is changing lives and the entire Merrill community is better because of it. If you, or someone you know, could benefit from the services provided at MADA, or if you would like to volunteer to help out in one of a variety of ways at the school, feel free to call the school at 536-1431 to schedule an appointment with a teacher. You will be happy you called.

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