J is a rising senior in high school. He joined our Learn & Earn program in September 2018 as a new junior. During his intake, it was immediately clear that he not only qualified for the program Learn & Earn is for individuals and families living below the poverty line) but truly needed the services. In addition, in middle school, he was diagnosed with a learning disability and has witnessed many acts of violence in his neighborhood.
At his first few group sessions, J. was quiet and withdrawn. Slowly, but surely, he began to open up and build rapport with his peers and staff. J. has experienced a number of “firsts” through Learn & Earn; he went on our annual leadership retreat where he left behind his day to day stressors, built his confidence and deepened friendships. He has joined our Mentor Mondays group and was paired with an adult mentor with whom he meets weekly. He has also joined us for two overnight college tours. Over the summer, J. had his first formal employment experience through the Learn & Earn summer internship program. He is excited about the upcoming 2019-2020 school year and applying to college where he wants to study computer science or engineering.
High School and College Success Programs are so much more than helping at-risk students graduate and get into college. They are a safe haven. They are a shoulder to cry on. An ear to listen. Our first priority is always getting the young person the help they need to be their best self.
“Everyone has an agenda but I feel safe talking with you. I know that I’m your priority.” D.L., Senior