Students Find Safety at Scholarship School

Life is getting back to normal for Lauren, 11, Abel, 10, and Timothy, 7, whose grandparents adopted them after their mother passed away.

But it’s not been an easy journey. The siblings were teased seemingly non-stop at their old schools.

“Lauren would come home crying,” their grandfather, Leslie Comardelle, says, “It started affecting her grades a lot. She didn’t even want to go to school, and Abel would always try to take up for his sister and would get in trouble.”

Leslie worried the lack of discipline and structure would eventually cause his grandchildren to consider dropping out of school. Then, he was given a lifeline: three scholarships for his grandchildren from the Louisiana Scholarship Program.

The two brothers and their sister all enrolled at St. Mary’s Nativity School in Raceland in the fall of 2012, where Leslie has noticed tremendous changes.

“Lauren’s happy. There’s no bullying. There’s no fighting,” Leslie says. “It’s made all three of them happy to be where they’re at. If there is a problem, the teachers call us in and we work it out.”

In addition to the new sense of security, Leslie believes the rigorous academic schedule will give his grandchildren the tools they need for a bright future. Says Leslie: “I see them going to college—they’re already talking about it, and it’s something they didn’t do before. I see a good future for them.”