Roxeanna is smart and has always done well academically, but is shy, keeps to herself and struggles making friends. When she got to high school, her social skills caused her the most pain. “I would get sensory overload and it was nerve wracking to have a teacher ask me a question in class. I knew the answers, but I was too nervous to participate,” she said. “I didn’t like doing group projects with classmates who didn’t care, since I would end up doing all the work.”

Coming to our school, she said, was the best decision for her mental health. She found our environment to be calm and less stressful, and the one-on-one attention from her teachers was life changing. “Even when I had no concern for myself, my teachers did, which really struck something inside of me,” she explained. “They cared so much about me, both academically and emotionally. When I felt alone and hopeless, I always had a teacher supporting me.”

With our focus on life skills and job training, Roxeanna is on a path to financial literacy with building credit and getting a good job. Her senior economics class helped her learn how to budget, create a financial plan and save money. “Thanks to that class, I know why it’s important to know about finances for your adult life,” she said. “I learned that budgeting needs to become a habit now so when I’m older I’ll be in a great financial state.”

Roxeanna always had an interest in an early child development career but didn’t know how to go about it. With the help of her teachers and counselor, they encouraged her toward Career Technical Education (CTE) classes in a pathway for Child Development and helped her land a job as a teacher assistant. With our flexible schedule, she can work full time and come to school in the early evening. She is taking dual-enrollment classes at a local community college, which she knows will save her money after graduation when she enrolls in college.

Her future looks bright, and she is eager to continue in a career of early child development. “I want a healthy and happy family of my own, where my future spouse and I both contribute financially, and to be happy in my career.”

Written By:
Ann Abajian