We are now a little over one month into the new school year. All the different schedules are mingling into one routine. There are less fights over who gets a shower first and who sits where in the van. Our tias and tios are enjoying some free time in the mornings once again. All seems easy, doesn’t it?
But what do we do with our children whose past doesn’t allow for a normal school routine? When we take children into our La Casa family, they are usually behind in their schooling. It can become a task trying to find the right option to meet their individual needs. We have two special cases that has taken some searching and praying to find that right option. One of our girls is now 15 but has only completed the first grade; and one of our boys, age 17, lost another year of school last year due to a difficult situation and is in the seventh grade.
To begin to address these needs, we hired a certified teacher last year. She began working one-on-one with these two in our staff offices. As you can imagine, it wasn’t the best setting, with numerous interruptions, but it was what we had. This year, we were able to use part of the boys’ home to create a small classroom setting. Now, both are participating in instruction time that will move them forward.
The young man attends school on Saturdays and receives his work for the week. He then works with Noemy, our teacher, in the mornings to complete his assignments. In the afternoons, he is interning alongside a mechanic to learn a trade. He has been very excited about the opportunities that have opened for him this year. He says, “I love being busy, and I am learning to apply what I learn in school to real life. I am realizing how important school really is. For example, when I am working on the battery of the car, you have to connect the positive end to the negative end.” He also shared, “I will always remember when Gerardo shared with me that God hadn’t finished me with me yet and that He had many plans for my life. Now, I also have plans for my life. I want to move to the Bridge and look for a job. I want to one day move back to my community and help many who are very poor. I want to be a light there.”
In the afternoons, Noemy works with one of our teenage girls. She tutored her for several months last year which gave her the opportunity to take a test and move forward a grade. This year, Noemy had to attend special training to allow her to cover two years of instruction in one year. Our young teen shares, “Before I came to La Casa, school was not important. Now I think differently. Now, I would like to finish high school and even go to college. I am very thankful that God has given me this opportunity, one that not everybody has.”
When just weeks ago, things seemed uncertain for these two young people, God opened doors so that both could continue moving forward in their studies. Both are excited about the future. They have hope, a great reward thanks to our partners who wrap us in prayer and support!
“But the plans of The Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.” Psalm 33:11
By Sharon Powell and Diana Chavez