The first month of the school year, CYC’s Educational Intervention Specialist Mel received a phone call from a student’s mother who was concerned about her 9th grade son because he had been missing class, was not doing any work for school, had behavior problems at home, and was telling her he wanted to drop out of high school. He had missed a few school days and was failing 3 classes, 2 of which were important core classes.
After CYC’s initial meeting with Emilio, it was clear that he was a very bright student with a lot of potential. However, Emilio had outside factors impacting his success. His house was very crowded and chaotic due to his older brother’s family moving back in. This made it hard for him to get any work done and also was negatively impacting his mood. He wanted to drop out of school, start working, and move out of his home.
Together, Mel and Emilio put together a plan. He connected with a high school senior who had been in a similar situation and was able to speak about the benefits of staying engaged in school. Teacher meetings also followed, where CYC helped him advocate for different homework accommodations since it was so difficult to complete at home. A plan was also put into place to prioritize missed assignments and review grades regularly. Over the semester, Emilio’s attitude changed.
Although he initially wanted to drop his Honors English and Honors Math class for second semester in favor of the regular level courses, he decided to stay the course. He wanted to prove to himself, his mother, and his teachers that he could do better in those classes second semester.
Emilio ended up passing all of his classes first semester and is off to a strong start second semester. Without support from flexible and caring teachers, a student mentor, or CYC intervening at the right time, Emilio could have become a student who fell through the cracks. Instead, he has become an engaged and highly motivated student who is on track to reach his goals and graduate from high school.