PROMOTOR PATHWAY STUDENT SINCE… FEBRUARY 2016
It's never too late for hope. Carolina, a homeless student at Newport Harbor High School (NHHS), joined our Promotor Pathway Program during her senior year. At the time, her future seemed uncertain. Today, she's thriving as a college student in Orange County.
At the age of three, Carolina's verbally and physically abusive father abandoned her family. Since then, she has never had contact with him. Her mother perpetually struggles to provide stability for Carolina and her two siblings, who all live together—doubled up in a small apartment. Housing and education are inextricably linked, and without a stable roof over her head, Carolina's education and quality of life greatly suffered.
By joining our Promotor Pathway Program, Carolina 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 accomplishes goals related to improvements in healthy behaviors, increased academic success, successful transition from high school to college and/or the workforce, and obtaining long-term career success.
When she first joined the program, several of Carolina's immediate needs were not being met, including food, clothing, computer, and emotional support. In fact, she owned only one pair of sneakers that were torn and especially troublesome on rainy days. Carolina's promotor has worked to provide her with food from our pantry and gift cards for new clothes and shoes. With the immense weight of these daily stresses lifted, Carolina became empowered to focus on school.
One of the most momentous experiences for students during senior year is prom. Carolina's wish to attend came true thanks to her hard work and Promotor Pathway Program resources. Funds from the program paid for her ticket, dress, and shoes, and thanks to a generous donor, she was able to have her hair and makeup done too.
To help prepare her for postsecondary education, Carolina's promotor guided her through applying for financial aid and scholarships. Today, she recently began her second semester at Vanguard University, having passed all of her classes with the exception of one withdrawal. Carolina also has her sights set on traveling overseas to teach English as a second language.
Carolina recently confided in her promotor for support in seeking counseling to heal from her traumatic past. Albeit challenging, she is now receiving the emotional support she needs to move forward. To improve her physical health, she has linked arms with a nutritionist and plans to kick off an exercise program.
We remain committed to walking alongside Carolina on her journey. Her hope and hard work, paired with our support, will help break the cycle of intergenerational homelessness.