Giving young disadvantaged children an academic boost pays off for them – and for society. That’s the business of the Milagro Center STARS Program, which serves 43 children in kindergarten through 5th grade. The population consists mostly of Hispanic, Haitian, and African American children, almost all living below the federal poverty level. Sixty percent of this population usually graduates from high school, but Milagro Center students are likely to do much better since they have a 97 percent annual grade promotion rate. Open year-round, students are actively engaged during times when school is not in session, which helps diminish the learning loss that many experience during summer and other school breaks. Milagro’s Teen Leadership Program, housed in a separate building, is a learning enrichment center for middle and high school students, consisting of the same population as the STARS Program. Students are provided with art classes, physical activities classes, academic tutoring, and career development workshops. It’s a drop-in program, so there are no caps on how many can attend.