Antonio got a full ride to Union College. How? Another great nonprofit: Posse Foundation.
After college graduation, Antonio decided to give back. Joined City Year as a full-time tutor. Next year he plans to go to law school. (Hey Antonio, watch the law school video a few blog posts below! Ruh roh.)
Another MATCH alum had a fabulous City Year experience. I won't use his name here, but I'm just as proud of him.
As a MATCH student, he struggled with what seemed to be depression, sometimes even becoming borderline catatonic during class. Teachers spent extra time with him; we hooked him up with an amazing mentor; arranged for some cool summer programs; sometimes I'd help him with homework at the Barnes & Noble down the street.
For months, though, we struggled with the underlying issue. Dad had died of a drug overdose, and partly as a result, mom was strongly averse to psychiatry (in part because she feared medication). Pru and I worked it and finally got him admitted to Children's Hospital with mom's consent, and then hooked him up with the best social worker I've ever met. He decided to drop out and do a GED, but he stabilized medically.
I didn't hear from him for a while. But he walked up to me at our high school graduation last June, wearing a red City Year red jacket and a big grin. He confidently looked me in the eye, and told me that City Year was the best thing that ever happened to him. No joke -- exact words. He'd mostly tutored 3rd and 4th graders at one of the struggling elementary schools in Boston, and had grown a lot as a young man.
Today's Globe story also mentions Citizen Schools. Each spring, CS brings gobs of their middle school kids to visit our high school. They nudge them all to apply to our admissions lottery. Kids who do get admitted continue to get follow-up check-ins from Citizen Schools staff.
In fact, our proposed new charter school -- which will be called MATCH Community Day if approved this month -- will be led by Kate Carpenter Bernier, a former Citizen Schools staffer. And our MATCH Corps Director, Diana Vizcarra, ran a Bay Area CS program.
I love full circle.
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Enough of Snowtorious B.I.G. Snow days drive everyone nuts. Parents scramble. Teachers lose momentum. Kids are bummed in June, staring forlornly at the windows.
Kinda makes you wanna go to, I don't know, New Orleans or something.