In 2019, Stan, a student attending Matchbox Learning at Wendell Phillips School 63, began the school year with not so great grades on his report card and was constantly in trouble. Stan’s mother and the school decided to partner Stan with Johnnie, a mentor from Broken Wings Youth Coalition. Throughout the school year, Stan would meet with Johnnie – learning how to manage his behavior and study habits and building Stan’s confidence. They were a team and they developed a close relationship. At the end of the school year, Stan was participating in extra-curricular activities and passing all of his classes.

Fast forward to this year.Broken Wings was unable to secure grant funding which eliminated the programming that allowed those important meetings with Stan and Johnnie. Stan’s grades began slipping and his spot on the basketball team was threatened. His behavior began to regress to that of the year before.And there was a major outburst. The school called mom – and then they called Johnnie. Johnnie was the only person Stan felt comfortable speaking with during his crisis.

Johnnie headed to the school and when he arrived, Stan was in full crisis mode. He was crying.He was afraid. He was embarrassed.After finding a private room, Stan was able to express what he was feeling. He and Johnnie still had that connection after all that time. Stan was able to leave the room, continue his day, and go on to finish the week. Several weeks later, Stan’s teachers are happy he is still doing wonderfully.

Partnerships between Mary Rigg, other community organizations, and our public schools allowed Stan to see his potential, build his confidence, and lead him on the path to success.