PORT CHESTER, N.Y. (PIX11) — A new school in New York is having a major impact in its first year.

Principal’s Promise Academy, which is housed in Port Chester High School, is an alternative school for students who are dealing with life issues and obstacles on their path to graduation. The school must receive recommendations for the 17- and 18-year-olds. These at-risk students are coping with stressors from their daily lives, including grief, trauma, anxiety, and depression.

They can continue their education at the academy in a secure, encouraging setting. In situations where a conventional curriculum wouldn’t meet their needs, it keeps them on the path to graduation.

Besides focusing on education, the kids of the PPA are working on helping those in the community who are less fortunate and in need of help. This outreach helps to keep them engaged and connected to their community. It also provides them with a sense of service and accomplishment.

Anthony Romero, 17, said last year he felt defeated and didn’t care about the consequences of his actions.

One year later, thanks to his teacher Tony Apuzzi, he’s on track toward getting a diploma and feeling proud of his accomplishments. In addition, Apuzzi hopes this program can be a blueprint for other school districts.