The power of a strong relationship helped Donald combat homelessness and get motivated about school again.
Donald lived in three different foster homes and changed schools with each move. This instability left him depressed, withdrawn and on the verge of dropping out of school. He struggled to develop good relationships with his teachers and peers. Donald lost all motivation for school. Then he met Mr. Felipe, the CIS site coordinator at his school.
Mr. Felipe immediately developed a plan to meet Donald’s needs. He purchased school supplies and clothes for Donald and encouraged him to join the school’s karate program.
After months of working with Mr. Felipe, Donald’s attitude changed. He became more outgoing and personable. His confidence improved. He began making friends at school and building relationships with his teachers and peers. His grades improved as well.
“My mom has noticed that my attitude has changed a lot, and my grades are improving a lot too. I like to come to the CIS classroom because it is fun to be here. Mr. Felipe gives us snacks and provides school supplies for us. We work in the garden and we get the help we need to study and do our homework. I feel happy and motivated when I come to this program.”
For Donald, Mr. Felipe is the one person who changed his life.
“I was in foster care when I was 4-5 years old and was split up from my brother for part of the time. I’m back with my family now and happy to have them in my life,” said Donald. “But I still remember that time and the bad depression I felt. At school, art and football helped me forget and let it all go. One person helped change a few things about me. That was my CIS site coordinator Mr. Felipe. He helped my work ethic. He helped me when I was upset. Because of him I grew more confident and became more serious about school and work in general.”
Today, Donald is back with his family and continues to work on building strong relationships.
- May 2016
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