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Samir started at the Heart of Hope Academy in fall 2019 because it was time for something different. Even with a 10:1 student-teacher ratio, his public school classroom for children with mild intellectual disabilities still didn’t give him the individualized attention he needed. Since then, the Academy has greatly improved Samir’s independence and social skills.

“[In a small class,] he is afforded the time to do what he needs to do,” Samir’s mom Deanna explained.

The scholarship offset some of the family’s unexpected expenses that arose during the transition to a new school, such as the gas to drive two ways from Cobb County each day, as well as childcare for Samir’s siblings while their mom picks him up from school.

Since the Elaine Clark Center’s temporary closure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Samir has struggled more than his brothers because the socialization he receives at the ECC is so essential. As small business operators, Deanna and her husband Rahman also face a complete pause on their business. From taking care of their employees to their family, a scholarship is now more important to their family than ever.


Samir's Story

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