With the 2020-2021 school year coming to an end, we want to celebrate the hard work of the CES Educational Coordinators (ECs) in LA County. Though it has been a tough year for everyone involved in education, the CES ECs have gone above and beyond for the students that they assist.
The following are success stories represent just a small portion of the impact ECs have on the hundreds of students they work with throughout the year.
A Man Grows into a Father
By Amanda Farina, SPA 2
When the Cabrera family first came to LA Family Housing, their 5 children had not been enrolled in school for over a year, and several of the children had learning and developmental disabilities but had not been receiving any services. Initially, both parents were resistant to Education Coordinator, Amanda Farina's, attempts to re-engage the children in learning and supportive services.
Mr. Cabrera seemed capable but doubted his ability to step up as a parent due to his lack of literacy, discord in the marriage, and concerns about legal status. However, with the help of Amanda’s home visits, coaching, and follow-ups, he was able to claim sole custody of the children and step up as his children’s primary parent. He even regained custody of one of his lost children, becoming a single, but proud, father of 6.
The children now all enjoy school and attend regularly, and the family is actively engaged in a multitude of supportive services. The Cabrera family is currently on track to be housed with an LAUSD Section 8 voucher, and Mr. Cabrera continues to check in with Education Coordinator Amanda Farina regularly to share small successes at home.
Facing the Administration Head-On
By Brian Ponce, SPA 7
Alex is a determined, resilient and communicative 23-year-old student participating in the Youth Coordinated Entry System. Alex and I have worked closely for a year to support his transition from a community college to a Cal State University (CSU).
Alex encountered several challenges with Financial Aid that impeded his enrollment at the CSU for the 2020-2021 school year. After having numerous meetings with Alex and conversations with staff at the CSU and state level, I was able to help Alex finally enroll and start his journey in higher education!
A Victor and Conqueror
By Rocio Jimenez, SPA 6
Ms. AR has had to overcome more challenges than most of us will in our lives. At the age of 13, Ms. AR started to have challenges in school and at home. These problems led to her being pulled out of middle school and not enrolled back until 9th grade in high school. Unfortunately, the problems had not been addressed and seemed to be spiraling out of control until she ended up in the juvenile justice system. Even after serving her time, the young Ms. AR found herself constantly moving from group home to group home and from school to school.
By the 10th grade, young Ms. AR had attended Soledad Enrichment Action (SEA) Charter High School twice, and Whitter, Jefferson and Monroe once each. She recalls not seeing a point to getting her high school diploma, not having an interest in finishing and even feeling like what was the point of school.
She gave into the feelings of distress and disappointment, quitting education altogether.
A few years pass and, Ms. AR, now a single mother, found resilience within herself and encouragement from God’s blessings started to turn her life around. She is now reunited with her children and working on new goals.
On April of 2021, Rocio (CES Education Coordinator) had the privilege of being connected with Ms. AR through HOPICS. Ms. AR was ready to for the next chapter of her life in being connected to an educational program.
Upon Rocio requesting and gathering transcripts from all the various schools, Ms. AR had attended, it was determined she had 148 credits total. With the support of Ms. V at Five Keys, Ms. AR is on her path towards earning her High School diploma.
Feeling encouraged, Ms. AR shared, “I thought my chance of earning my high school diploma was long gone in the past. Once I earn my High School diploma, I’ll apply to DACA, apply for a work permit and start working towards being able to provide for my family through her own means and work.”
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