We are making big changes at Cloud & Fire. After nearly 20 years in ministry, we can recognize when programs have outlived their effectiveness and when a new season is upon us. And so it is for us now.
Cloud & Fire Academy, our charter high school which began in 2009, is one of the most effective programs we have ever undertaken. The Academy blossomed during its nine years, and radically impacted more than 1,300 youth and young adults. A strong Academy community was forged, and students unanimously agree that their experience was life-changing.
Originally, Cloud & Fire Academy was a rare opportunity for high school dropouts. Now, nearly a decade later, numerous similar programs have emerged. Simultaneously, the need has been reduced. When California changed policy in 2015 to make high school graduation more attainable—even for students who can’t read or calculate—state graduation rates increased, and “second chance” schools had much less appeal.
Our goals are to share Christ’s love, especially with those in need, to help youth thrive, and to fill needs in the community. We desire to offer relevant, impactful programs that are carried out with excellence. Therefore, during the coming year, we will focus on research and advocacy related to policies that perpetuate poverty, encourage under-achievement, and eliminate ambition among our youth. Our focus will be primarily on education policy that affects students in poverty.
You can help by praying with us about these changes and continuing to support Cloud & Fire. In future months, we will share ways to take further action. We are very excited about the opportunities that will emerge in this new era.