I had the pleasure of supporting a family recently which made a real difference in the life of the student and the lives of the parents, not to mention the lives of the siblings and other family members. After conversations with schools staff and administrators and the student, I realized the family hadn't applied for free and reduced-price meals since 2010, summer school for 2014 or registered and submitted proof of residency for the 2014-2015 school year. This family qualified for the food resource, the student needed to recover some credits over summer and it is absolutely essential that families register their students and submit proof of residency.
I communicated with the family about the need to set up a meeting. Unfortunately, due to unexpected medical appointments and miscommunication, we weren't able to meet for a few weeks. I will admit that I became anxious and frustrated due to my lack of ability to make positive change in a short amount of time. When the parents were able to come to Hilltop High School and I was present to meet with them, we had an excellent and fruitful meeting.
The parents completed the free and reduced-price meals application and I was able to take it to Nutrition Services at SUHSD and get free meals approved that day. The parents also signed the summer school application and I delivered it to the student's counselor that day. Finally, we started working on the online registration process. After trying to log in too many time, the system locked us out. The Hilltop High School registrar graciously accepted an impromptu meeting and guided the parents through the entire registration process. And by a stroke of brilliance, the mother had brought her file with proof of residency forms to the meeting so she was able to complete that portion too. I hadn't talked to her about proof of residency but she intuited it!
This family exhibits impressive resilience, persistence and patience. My client is finishing 10th grade and will be the first out of 5 older siblings to graduate high school. I am impressed by his tenacity and I feel privileged to work with the wonderful people in his family. While helping him get free meals at school, apply to summer school and be registered for next year, I learned the value of patience. I look forward to sharing updates about his future accomplishments!