For Jessica, life has been a struggle. Dreaming about the future was not a luxury she could afford. Survival was her reality. After being removed from her abusive home, she lived in 6 different foster homes in just 2 years. Nearly every move involved changing schools. With each school transfer, she fell further behind in academics. Especially challenging for her were math and science. With high school approaching, concern grew that she may not even graduate.
Kate was determined this would not be Jessica’s fate. Kate is Jessica’s Court Appointed Special Advocate, the only adult in Jessica’s life that is personally advocating for her best interests. Kate knows that ensuring the value of a good education will significantly improve her future.
Noticing that Jessica was struggling with academics, Kate met with her teachers and, with their support, convinced Jessica’s DHS caseworker to approve of an individualized education plan (IEP) for Jessica. It was not easy for Jessica to stick with the program but Kate continued to encourage her. Kate also requested e-mails from her teachers regarding upcoming assignments and helped Jessica to complete her school work. Kate monitored Jessica’s grades to ensure her progress.
Jessica’s grades began to improve and with that her confidence. For the first time she began to dream about her future. She shared with Kate that she wanted to be a scientist someday. Kate reassured her that by doing well in school, and going to college she could achieve whatever she set her mind to.
Thanks to Kate, Jessica is now caught up in math and her grades have improved as she enters high school this fall. She is continuing on an IEP in high school and getting extra help in math to ensure she continues to improve academically. She is also doing well in her current foster home. Now that she is back on track academically, Kate’s next goal is to make certain she remains at the same high school all four years to ensure her continued success.
NOTE: Jessica’s story is real, but her name and picture have been changed to protect her identity.