Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Safe Youth Project
When Alejandro started coming to the Safe Youth Project (SYP) after-school program as a 4th grader he was a trouble-maker. He spoke out of turn, bullied the other children, and refused to cooperate despite repeated warnings. He was so obstreperous that some of the other children stopped coming to the program. Very troubled by his behavior, our staff met with Alejandro’s parents to express their concern and discuss how he acted at home with his parents and siblings. It turns out that the parents were very worried too, but they couldn’t afford to seek help or treatment from a professional. Staff had to tell Alejandro’s parents that he couldn’t come to the program anymore because he was driving the other children away, but they did continue to help the family. They were able to get them connected with another organization, where Alejandro was tested for behavioral problems then got regular counseling to help him improve. Alejandro is now in 6th grade, and has returned to SYP a changed person—he listens to staff, treats his peers respectfully, and contributes to group activities.