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A remarkable passion for helping others succeed through tough times (via

Written by: Learn4Life|Published on: March 26, 2024

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – One woman is breaking barriers when it comes to access to education- making it so even those in tougher situations can get their high school diploma.

“Our students come in with so many barriers, and our staff is here to help students get over those barriers,” said Shellie Hanes, Superintendent of Learn4Life Charter School.

Inside the art room at the Fresno location of the Learn4Life Charter School, Shellie Hanes explains her perspective on what it means to help every single student succeed.

“This program has something for everyone. Students are not one size fits all. And neither should their education,” she said.

Hanes is the California Superintendent of Learn4Life Charter high schools.

It’s a unique school that helps students with unique circumstances. Students include everyone from teen mothers and fathers- to students who have dropped out, been involved in gangs, or gone through traumatic events and now need specialized guidance and support.

Hanes says they can even go as far as to help provide diapers for students’ babies, which is a cause that’s close to her heart.

“I have experience with this, I was a teen mom, I had a baby at 18, and so I understand and can recognize when things are more difficult when you have a baby or a toddler at home. So that gives me a unique lens to understand the impact that this program has.”

She says Learn4Life is free for students to attend- but they still can provide many more resources that traditional public schools may not be able to. With fewer students, Hanes says educators can focus on personalizing their education and getting them direct support when needed.

Hanes says her goal is to help her students to be successful when they leave Learn4Life -whether that’s going back to a traditional school, a trade, or even college. She says graduating helps them not only provide better for themselves- but helps them add value to the community.

“We just make sure to provide, whatever they need to get to the finish line. For some kids that might be a package of diapers. We try to find those avenues that are individual for each student to let them get to their success.”

Written By:
Ann Abajian
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