Every year, our site coordinators take on the responsibility of providing support to students in need and sometimes they encounter a student who leaves an impression on their heart well after graduation. Those stories are what motivates us day in and day out, and acts as a reminder for the important role a site coordinator has within our organization.

To kick off the first day of school for the School District of the City of York, we’re pleased to share the story of our York site coordinator, Leyna, and her former student Amaury.

When Amaury moved to York, Pennsylvania two years ago from the Dominican Republic he didn’t have many friends. In fact, the students in his 8th-grade class would often mock and bully him because of his accent. Naturally being upset by the comments of others, Amaury found refuge in Leyna’s office where he felt safe and understood.

After being referred to Leyna by a teacher, Amaury opened up to Leyna about how his parents both worked 12-hour shifts, which often left him alone to care for his younger brother. Not to mention, Amaury desperately needed someone in his corner to help him with his school work and provide support for when his peers were cruel.

Not long after being on her caseload, Leyna realized the main reason for why Amaury was doing so poorly in school was because he refused to participate in class out of fear of being teased for his accent. To offset Amaury’s pain and boost his confidence, Leyna enrolled him in the York College buddy program to give him a few extra mentors who could encourage and motivate him throughout the school year. Leyna also scheduled routine check-ups with Amaury to make sure he was on top of his homework assignments and on track to meet his goals.

“Amaury had a great 8th-grade year! Not only did he finish the school year strong academically, he won several awards for academic excellence at the 8th-grade promotion ceremony,” said Leyna.

Throughout the course of their time together, Amaury had blossomed into a confident young man who became more assertive and proud of his accent and background. Amaury is now a student at the York High School and has a supportive group of friends who also immigrated from the Dominican Republic and shares a love for all things baseball.

Stay tuned for the next featured Student Success Story in September!