The History of T.R.O.Y. Alternative School

Graduating Class at TROY Alternative School


Sometimes you just can’t put a name to it — that overwhelming sense that something is altogether right and good; as it should be. It shines from the faces below, but before you can fully understand where they are now, it helps to understand how they
got there. 

Over two decades ago, TROY School started out as the Probation Department’s Youth Improvement Center, housed in an area of the former Marshall Middle School. It was a last chance kind of place for struggling teens to get on track before they landed into more punitive situations. A handful of exceptional, private teachers entered the mix and suddenly the possibility for obtaining an education outside of traditional classrooms became more than a possibility. Students who didn’t fit in or couldn’t learn sitting behind a desk found they had a place to be nurtured and counseled and loved – and then educated. Young mothers had a place to complete their high school degree requirements while rocking their babies. Area school systems became partners, referring some of their most troubled students – often those who had been expelled or harbored emotional challenges — to the organization. Time passed, young people found success and new challenges emerged. 

Plans for the Marshall building led the YIC to relocate in the basement of what is now The Center for Whitley County Youth. Paint and elbow grease made the windowless area satisfactory for a time until flooding took their computers and left classrooms damp. Members of the First Church of God Church kindly opened their doors and invited the organization to utilize an upstairs area of their building where students were guests for three years. In time, they outgrew borrowed quarters and moved again to the former ETNA TROY School in Northern Whitley County. It was here their name changed to TROY School (Teaching and Reaching our Youth) and leadership opted to pursue the designation of a freeway school, an official 501(c)3 organization, independent of the local court system.

Plagued by a costly, unending list of repairs, transportation challenges and minimal security, TROY School moved again in 2014 to Trinity Presbyterian Church. Church members were generous, yet as with any good guests, the need to move on lingered.

After years of watching a caring organization find student success while struggling with a location, the Community Foundation found itself in a position to help make a lasting difference.  Funds from a generous, anonymous, donor allowed the Foundation to fund a $100,000 grant to help acquire a permanent home for TROY school in 2017. A large capital campaign unfolded and additional dollars were raised to remodel the facility, making it a healthy and inviting place to learn.

The new home is a place that says, “This community knows you can succeed; we believe you deserve sunlight and warmth and above all, the educational support to thrive and become productive citizens.” 


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