Hello, my name is David Fares, I am and Academic Advocate at Hilltop Middle School. I work with some remarkable students. Regardless of the fact that I am just beginning my work with these students, I am beginning to see the impact that I as an Academic Advocate am having on my students.
One student in particular stands out in my mind. This student was shy, withdrawn and believed his opinion/input was inconsequential. He had two F’s, is in Rising Stars (afterschool intervention for students with 2 or more F’s) and did not have any extracurricular interests.
Having worked with my student briefly one-on-one and in Rising Stars, I wanted to find a way to allow the student to feel comfortable expressing himself. I introduced he and his mother to the ARTS program. While his mother was excited about the program, he was hesitant and noncommittal. I made an agreement with him. He agreed to try the ARTS class after Rising Stars and I agreed to let him out of Rising Stars early on those days.
After three weeks in the ARTS class, my student began to talk more openly with me. I saw a little more confidence in him and he seemed moderately more engaged while in Rising Stars. A few weeks later the student began to heed my advice to speak with each of his teachers regarding his grades, missing assignments and how he can improve. The student began to work hard on making up assignments in his math and social science class and immediately saw results. His social science grade improved dramatically, shifting from an F to a C-.
After working hard at the end of last semester, my student appears refreshed and ready for the challenge of a new semester. While he was not able to repair his grade in math enough to earn a passing grade, he has begun to grow academically and socially. He has earned his way out of Rising Stars and now possesses the ability to communicate effectively with adults. He has shown himself that his hard work pays off with a more rewarding report card. He has discovered a new interest in art through the ARTS program and is eager for ARTS to begin again this semester. While my student still has much to achieve before he could be considered a student who excels, he has begun to make progress toward a more fulfilling academic and social experience.
David Fares, Academic Advocate