COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Navigating the ups and downs of high school and beyond can be stressful, but a unique program is helping students at Whitehall-Yearling High School find a smoother path on the bumpy road of life.

“I’ve heard about a lot of different programs, but this one kind of stood out to me at first,” Said Nurahmad, a Whitehall-Yearling junior admitted.

And Said was right. This program is different because this one requires “grit.”

“Making the goals and achieving them kind of helps me learn more about myself and what I want to achieve in the future,” Nurahmad adds.

But for students like Said, maintaining that grit and reaching those goals doesn’t come without a helping hand.

“We’re really focused on helping them understand what they love, what they’re passionate about, and then helping them pursue that,” describes Kai McKinney, a Legacy Coach.

McKinney has been a coach with the legacy project for going on five years.

He meets with Said daily, helping the him develop character traits that are vital to his future success.

“Said really stuck out as someone who was just full of zest,” McKinney recalls. “We’re already through like a bunch of goals he’s set.”

Said has always been interested in video games and the internet and says he is currently studying and working to develop a career in coding.

“I definitely wouldn’t be as productive. I used to be a really bad procrastinator before, but now I’ve cut down on that,” Said confesses.

Their connection is made possible by the Scott’s MiracleGro Foundation.

Through The Legacy Project, selected students receive individualized coaching, tuition opportunities, and hands-on career exposure.

“We like to call them ‘gritty kids,’ and so we take them when they start high school as freshman, and so again, we work with them over four years,” describes Su Lok with Scott’s.

After beginning five years ago, 2020 saw the first group of graduates complete the program.

“I’ve think we’ve seen not only a lot of growth in our students, but a lot of growth in the program. A lot of just maturing and figuring out what we do well and leaning into that,” says McKinney of the program’s evolution.

And with Said set to soon follow in their footsteps, for Scott’s, it’s about nurturing the next generation of leaders within their communities.

“Even if I have a low, I want to have the happiness to continue living the life how I want to live it,” explained Said.