With nearly $500,000 in grant funding Eliada plans to open the Eliada School of Trade Arts

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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This is important. Eliada, with nearly half a million in funding in place, plans to open a school this summer to meet the needs of  young men transitioning from long-term foster care to adulthood. Part of long press release here:

Welcoming its inaugural class of students this summer, ESTA is a post-secondary residential school developed to specifically meet the needs of young men recently transitioning from long-term foster care to adulthood. Through vocational and academic training, character development, a support network, and the experience of transitional living, ESTA will give these young people the tools to become self-sufficient adults and productive members of society.

“The program is ambitious because the need is so overwhelming,” says Eliada CEO Mark Upright. “ESTA is like a bridge to adulthood. Students will live on campus, get an associate’s degree in a specified trade right here at Eliada, and also participate in an incredibly powerful character development curriculum. There is nothing else like this in North Carolina.”

The Eliada campus will provide an idyllic setting for ESTA. With over 200 acres, the campus boasts amenities like a newly renovated health & fitness center, gymnasium, driving range, outdoor pool, smart classrooms, computer labs, wilderness trails, and much more.

“ESTA will be a perfect complement to our existing programs for children and adolescents,” said Upright. “In many ways, it truly is the fulfillment of our mission: Helping Children Succeed. The idea behind ESTA is to keep the promise of that mission statement, even after those children become young adults.”

The Duke Endowment has pledged major multiyear support for ESTA, with others including Janirve, The Cannon Foundation, and the Perry Rudnick Endowment also contributing significant gifts. All told, private foundation grants for the project total nearly half a million dollars. This funding will support the program through the initial two-year period during which ESTA will become accredited. After accreditation, the program will be sustainable through Pell Grants and other state or national sources. There will never be a cost to students for attending ESTA.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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