PROMOTOR PATHWAY STUDENT SINCE… APRIL 2016
High school serves as a transformational period of academic, social, and personal growth, and is challenging enough without added obstacles. For Nick, moving from stability to homelessness during his sophomore year prompted years of struggle and uncertainty. Today, he's a motivated and hardworking college student in Orange County.
Housing and education are inextricably linked. Nick lived in a tent with his parents when he became homeless as a sophomore student at Newport Harbor High School (NHHS). His motivation to achieve in school dwindled, prompting his grades to drop and him to fall behind on school credits.
By joining our Promotor Pathway Program, Nick connected with a dedicated promotor, who provides one-on-one intensive support and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Born of the belief that a strong relationship with a caring adult is critical to a youth's ability to succeed, promotores are professional intensive case managers who also act as a combination of youth development workers, advocates, and mentors for disconnected youth. Serving youths ages 14-24, the program helps eliminate as many barriers in a youth's life as possible, so that each achieves the goals of improvements in healthy behaviors, increased academic success, successful transition from high school to college and/or the workforce, and obtaining long-term career success.
Nick's promotor helped provide him with numerous items to help meet his basic needs, including food, clothing, shoes, hygiene products, dental care, bus passes, and a new tent and sleeping bag. Through the Promotor Pathway Program, Nick was able to obtain his birth certificate, apply for financial aid, and register at Orange Coast College (OCC). He was granted more than $7,000 in financial aid, which helped cover his basic needs and textbooks.
Today, Nick just kicked off his second semester at OCC. Extremely motivated to continue his secondary education, he passed all of his classes during his first semester. One of his current goals is to obtain a part-time job. Taking steps in the right direction, he recently purchased a used car and is preparing to gain his driver's license.
For a couple of months, Nick lived in a safe place with a family friend, but is now living out of his car with his parents. In the past, Nick has been given opportunities to move out of homelessness, but has chosen to stay with his parents, who struggle with substance abuse and legal problems. For them, homelessness is a lifestyle that they are struggling to leave behind. For Nick, he serves as stability for his parents. Leaving them behind hardly feels like an option. However, Nick is beginning to contemplate moving into a stable home of his own—to uplift himself out of homelessness and focus on his education.
We remain committed to walking alongside him on his journey. His hope and hard work, paired with our support, will help break the cycle of intergenerational homelessness.