Stories of Hope is an ongoing series from Edgewood highlighting our work and the lives changed for those young people able to engage with our services.
*Daniel was a first-grade student at Hillcrest Elementary School, an Edgewood Community School partner. He was having a hard time adjusting to the school routine. He had poor hygiene and spent a lot of time with his head inside his shirt. Daniel was homeless, his father was incarcerated and his mother was dealing with substance abuse withdrawal.
Daniel’s teacher didn’t know about his academic skills because he spent most of his time underneath the table avoiding any kind of work or communication. Perceived negatively by his classmates, he wasn’t connecting with anyone, which made him frustrated and angry. The only thing that he was eager to do was play basketball with any adult who had the spare time.
An Edgewood community outreach leader working at Hillcrest coached Daniel on how to negotiate with others in school and build the skills to cope with his life situation. This process, called The Peace Path, provides a physical model of how conflict resolution works, aimed at elementary and middle school students.
Every morning Daniel would have breakfast with his coach, shoot some hoops, and run-through scenarios to help him practice his new skills. After two years at Edgewood, the plan was working. He spent more time in class and his teacher had designated him as her helper. Daniel also began to eat lunch with his new friends. Most importantly, he felt good about himself for the first time. With the continued support of the Edgewood Community School team at Hillcrest, Daniel’s personality and intelligence will continue to lead him down the path of success.
*indicates name has been changed