SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The Sisu Academy, a free boarding school for at-risk teenage girls, needs help to get the school year started.
"We are a little cash strapped right now," says school founder Jabez Labret. "We need to get some cash in the door to get over the starting line so we can access those grant dollars coming this fall to keep the program running."
Labret says the school has plenty of money lined up in grants and in-kind donations once classes begin, they need some bridge funding until then.
He says the school's mission makes it a worthy cause for donations.
"This is more than just another school," Labret says. "This is truly about changing these girls' lives."
The school will enroll 20 girls this fall, all of them from at-risk situations. They hope to add a freshman class each fall and eventually have 350 students.
"It could be drug or alcohol issues at home, domestic abuse, homelessness," he says. "It could be that mom and dad both work two jobs and are just struggling to be able to keep food on the table."
Labret says a boarding school puts the girls in a stable, focused environment that will help them establish a foundation for the future.
"We don't just teach the academic side," he says. "We teach them social and emotional skills, the entrepreneurial side, we go out into the community and do community service. It gives us a lot of options to get out of the learning environment."
One student who will enroll this fall says she's excited about the prospect.
"Going to school would help me so that I can get my mind off my troubles at home," says Analys Franklin. "I just know to worry about me now, because I'm a kid and I worry about stuff that I shouldn't worry about."
Labret says the donations they get now will help buy things like beds for the girls, and other necessities for when they start classes.