There was a student at the Jurupa campus in our Academic Program that I worked with a few years back who had an Emotionally Disturbed diagnosis and engaged in self-harm. He was becoming a senior and was losing hope in himself and for others around him because they would just give up on him. As he started to see the other seniors about mid-year getting ready to graduate, he went into a hole and stayed in the refocus room all day with his head down and had a few behaviors along the way.
One day I brought him into the office for a heart to heart, and I informed him that I would reach out to the district to see if we could work out a graduation plan. The district approved a graduation plan for him, and things went into motion. He literally stayed in my office as work came to him and completed an intense amount of work to obtain his goal of completing his high school diploma. Once the last packet was complete and we submitted the transcripts to the district, he finally graduated.
During our graduation ceremony, he got to speak, and in doing so, he thanked the staff for believing in him when others did not. When we spoke afterward, he told me that he used to get mad at me because he tried to get me to hate him, but I would come every day saying, “Hello, when you’re ready to talk I’ll be waiting.” So, he gave in eventually because I wouldn’t leave him alone. Crying, he gave me a hug and said that he would miss me and told me to keep helping people like him graduate and move on.
-Adolph, Program Director Chino