This Life: What hurting teens in school need more: A listener who cares
In any given school week, Kara Thompson sees as many as 38 students who need her help. Sometimes the need is as simple as a word of encouragement and other times as complicated as finding them a place to stay.
As often as she can, she does whatever it takes to fulfill those needs. However and whenever she can.
At just 29, Thompson, a site coordinator for Communities In Schools, is little more than a decade removed from the vast majority of the students – 14- to 18-year-olds – assigned to her caseload at Stockbridge High School. And except for the teen angst she experienced growing up, she has little in common with them.
While the vast majority of her charges come from troubled and dysfunctional households, Kara Thompson grew up in a solidly middle-class family with both parents present.
And yet by all accounts she is able to connect with both her students and often their parents in ways unimaginable, because Kara Thompson has heart. She cares.
She was tapped to coordinate the Stockbridge High program back in June, one month after earning her bachelor of science degree in human services from Mercer University and after hearing about the program from Glenda Harris, executive director of Communities In Schools in Henry County.
Read the full story at the Atlanta Journal Constitution