This May, Dohn’s Hamilton Learning Center (DHLC) proudly graduated its first students. The Hamilton campus opened in in 2021 when it became apparent that the city’s student population, 38% Black/Brown, is hugely underserved. Besides being the only predominantly African-American school in Butler County, DHLC also educates the large Hispanic population.
“The teachers are very engaging. Anything I needed help with they didn’t mind taking their time. They even stayed late or worked with me on Fridays to meet my schedule. If it wasn’t for the lady at the front desk calling me every day, making sure I came in to finish my credits to graduate, I probably would have never finished this early.” Dohn was the best route for me.~Keshon Sanders
District schools often overlook the needs of struggling students. If a student gets kicked out, they often don’t get another chance, leading them to dark alternatives like drugs and crime. Some feel they don’t deserve an education, struggle with reading or have home life challenges and are embarrassed to come to school.
At Dohn’s Hamilton Learning Center, these students get the tools they need to succeed. The teachers and staff meet the students where they are, helping them overcome their obstacles. Students receive one-on-one attention, helping them recover the lost credits needed to graduate. DHLC’s Spring graduates were accepted into a variety of academic and technical colleges. With a high school diploma in hand, they are altering the trajectory of their lives, giving them opportunities to earn a living wage and become fulfilled, productive members of society.
One shining example of success is senior Dasia T., who made a 180-degree turnaround. She came to DHLC as a teenage mom with adverse behavioral issues and emotional obstacles. She was missing a lot of credits and her attendance was dismal. After a few months of encouragement and individualized attention, she began to recover credits, her attendance improved and her self-confidence soared. When she started her journey, graduation seemed impossible, but as she experienced small successes the finish line came into sight. She, too, leaves DHLC with a diploma in hand.
“I had a baby at a really young age but the teachers never judged me. They made sure I stayed on it, and now I’m graduating. I didn’t really care about school before but now I want to continue my education to better my life for me and my daughter.”~Dasia Tinsley
Many students recover enough credits to get back on track to graduate and some make it onto the honor roll for the first time. This Spring, there were 26 students enrolled in DHLC and we anticipate enrolling an additional 60 students for the next school year. And it should be no surprise that DHLC’s Campus Coordinator, Harry Raimey, was just voted Dohn Staff Member of the Month by his colleagues.
Dohn’s Hamilton Learning Center is making an impact on the lives of students and families in the city of Hamilton and the surrounding Butler County area – successes that may not have been possible if not for the vision, dedication, and presence of the Dohn mission.