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Our Stories

needed to help them guide their students to on-time high school graduation. They want to help, but they lack even the most basic information about high school, such as how many years there are in high school or what letter grades mean.” This is where the project comes in.

Meet Ivonne. Ivonne is a charming, friendly 14-year old student at Los Fresnos United 9th Grade Campus who had behavior issues due to problems at home. Her issues were so debilitating that she was at-risk of not graduating from high school. The program assigned her a Family Coordinator, who is charged with working with the school, families and community organizations to ensure that the students assigned to him or her graduate on time. The Family Coordinator stays with the student and his or her family throughout the high school years - a key component of the strategy. The position is funded by the contribution from AT&T Aspire.

Today, Ivonne is a new young woman. She volunteers to assist the Family Coordinator and her teachers, and is developing clerical skills through her volunteer service. Ivonne’s grades have gone from 50s to the honor roll. She now accepts her mother’s guidance and participates more in social activities with her family. Previously, Ivonne had never talked about going to college. She now expresses a desire to attend college and become a counselor like Mrs. Pereira, her Family Coordinator.

Since adding the Family Coordinator position, the project has seen a 45 percent improvement in student academic performance and 25 percent improvement in attendance within the target population when compared to last year’s 9th grade students who had the same risk factors. Traci Wickett credits this improvement to increased family involvement in students’ high school experience: “Empowering families with new knowledge and skills is already yielding benefits for students.”

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