Self-Help Shares

Loans for a Remarkable Charter School in NC’s Vance County

By Julia Malinowski
  | Aug 24, 2017

Henderson Collegiate High School from Big Dog Little Bed Productions on Vimeo
Video provided courtesy of the school.

Last month, Self-Help closed on two loans totaling $8.6 million to help finance a permanent facility for Henderson Collegiate High School, located in Henderson, NC. The school may be in a small town, but it produces big results. Henderson Collegiate is the highest performing Title 1 school in the state.

This is our third round of financing for Henderson Collegiate, which was completed in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Building Hope and the Charter School Growth Fund.

Henderson Collegiate Charter School (HCCS) is located in Vance County, a rural county that has suffered from economic decline. Loss of manufacturing jobs, loss of agriculture business, a struggling economy and an associated high level of unemployment (6.7%) have all contributed to the county’s slow recovery from the economic downturn. HCCS has been the bright spot in the county, providing ALL students with a truly excellent education.

In total, HCCS has just over 1,000 students. More than 86% are considered low income; 98% are minority; and 90% qualify for free or reduced lunch. Statewide and national trends show that schools serving more low-income students tend to have weaker academic results. Henderson is the most extreme, positive outlier from this trend that we’ve seen in the state as shown by student performance.

Last school year, 99% of Henderson Collegiate students achieved proficiency on the English I exam, while the state average was 59%. On the Biology exam, 95% of HCCS students achieved proficiency; the state average was 59%. Not only did Henderson Collegiate High School students crush it, they achieved these results while operating mostly in modular units.

Henderson Collegiate students

More than seven years into our lending relationship, Henderson has truly become a part of the Self-Help family. We made our first loan to the school in July 2010 to fund site work for mobile modular units for their newly-formed middle school. In December 2013, we partnered with the USDA to finance the construction of the permanent middle school facility. The new 43,000-square-foot high school facility, which will sit immediately adjacent to the middle school, is scheduled to open for the 2018-2019 school year.

As a Self-Help loan officer and a mother, I am proud to support a school where any family would be lucky to send their kid.  

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