When we looked for students to join our new community outreach Street Team, Amira G. was at the top of the list. As a paid Street Team member, Amira learned professional skills like speaking, event planning and representing our schools throughout the community. After graduation, she wants to go to college to be a psychologist and even start a nonprofit organization that helps people in need.

She overcame many challenges to get to this point. She came with her family to the U.S. from Guatemala in 2012, and had a rough time adjusting, dealt with an unpleasant home environment and had a lot of anxiety about attending high school. She is smart and always got good grades, but was intimidated and dreaded going to class every day.

During COVID lockdowns, difficulties at home were amplified and she became more and more depressed and lacked the motivation to get her schoolwork done. Fortunately, a friend recommended our school and Amira said transferring here was the best decision she has ever made.

“Here I can talk about my problems with anyone, and they’ll listen. School is now my healthy environment and a place to get away from home or whenever I need to take a deep breath and get my work done,” she explained. “My teachers pushed me to do better and from day one respected me and treated me like an adult.”

She said that when they first arrived in the States, her parents were told that she and her siblings would get involved in drugs and probably wouldn’t finish school. “I am so happy and so proud to be able to prove them all wrong.”

Written By:
Ann Abajian