We all know people who will go the extra mile. Once in a while, we find someone who goes even further. Mr. and Mrs. Neve truly exemplify the meaning of going above and beyond for the good of their community. They made an amazing commitment to shape the life of a young girl in Stafford – their neighbor Stacy.
When they first met Stacy she was living next door, along with her mom and many sisters and brothers. To say Stacy was struggling would be an understatement. Stacy had been in a serious car accident during third grade, which set the stage for a series of set-backs that continued into the following school year. Each week, she fell further behind in school. Repeated failure was starting to take its toll on the way that Stacy viewed her own abilities. The Neves knew that the habits she was developing would eventually lead to a complete educational failure. She was well on her way to repeating fourth grade when the Neves decided they simply had to act.
They took the huge step of bringing Stacy into their home during the week. On weekends she stayed with her mom and siblings.
Looking for the right school in Stafford
They saw her as their new “child,” and the Neves began looking for the right school. “We wanted something more personal for her than what she had experienced before. We wanted to find an educational setting that would set boundaries, but still love her,” says Cliff Neve.
“That’s when we saw the sign for the Stafford campus of Fredericksburg Christian School located off 610, right in the heart of Stafford. We did some research and visited the school.” After a warm welcome, they discovered an average class size of 18, a clean and bright educational environment, and a rigorous set of educational offerings and resources. They knew there was something special about the Stafford Campus. It was just the right place for Stacy.
Will she fit in?
One concern they had was how Stacy might be welcomed by the school’s children. Children who are new or struggling can often become the object of ridicule, and they knew that would not help the situation. The children on the Stafford campus welcomed Stacy with open arms, and she was quickly accepted. From day one, she made a friend and has continued to grow from there.
They were also hopeful that the broader school community would be supportive of Stacy, with the warmth of the school staff being mirrored among parents, and that was exactly what they found. “This is also a group of extraordinary parents, always helping each other,” says Cliff Neve. Initially, they were concerned about bringing this fragile girl into a school where many others had been for years. They wondered if Stacy would fit in, and if the students would venture out of their cliques to welcome her. What they found was something beyond their expectations.
An experience beyond our expectations
The Neves knew that Stacy needed a school setting with high academic expectations, along with committed teachers who, while maintaining the accelerated pace of learning, could also help Stacy excel. The Neves found a combination of great academics and Christian values that create both support and structure. They “built her up in a Godly way and set wonderful boundaries for her.”
Mr. and Mrs. Neve had high hopes for Stacy and did their homework when finding the Stafford Campus. They were making a personal life investment in the future of a young lady who had become precious to them. At the end of the first quarter they were more than surprised. Not only did Stacy make many new friends, she also made the Honor Roll! “It was really a confidence builder for her,” says Cliff. Her grade point average at the end of the 2015 school year was 80%. More importantly, she had a new sense of confidence and excitement about learning.
The Neves credit Stacy’s progress to the Stafford Campus and the school’s combination of values, environment, and healthy boundaries. They found an educational experience that offered something really genuine. In their words, “We found that the parents were involved and everything was inclusive. Extra attention was given to her because she was new. We could go to chapels and observe, which was nice. Even kids coming in during the year were recognized and were beaming. They are extremely welcoming. I felt like the teachers loved her. She was getting real love. It was a team effort.”
“It has been an amazing year, a truly amazing year. We love FCS – Stacy has grown so much!”
Parenting your children or those you adopt (even for a season), is an investment of the heart. Your hopes and dreams are invested in the process along with your children. The Neves’ investment yielded more than they could have imagined, and it will continue throughout Stacy’s education and her life story that is yet to come.