Adapting to both the academic and social expectations of high school is one of the most difficult transitions for a refugee or immigrant teen. Inspiritus’ Afterschool program provides the support many teens need to be successful in school and go on to pursue higher education or embark on a career following graduation.
Ali is one of the teens enrolled in Inspiritus’ 21st Century Afterschool program at Clarkston High School. Originally from Afghanistan, Ali and his older brother traveled to the United States on a Special Immigrant Visa while their parents remained in their home country. Ali works hard in school trying to maintain his 3.0 GPA. While he excels in math and science, language arts has been quite difficult for him. Our staff at Inspiritus’ Afterschool Program have focused much of their work with him on increasing his knowledge and comprehension of the subject. Since he first started at the Afterschool Program two years ago, the staff has worked with both him and his language arts teacher to help ensure he understands each assignment and that he grasps the more complex literary concepts. The teacher was able to provide extra credit assignments to help Ali become more confident in his abilities and raise his grade.
In addition to his rigorous school work, Ali works at a part time job in order to help cover his and his brother’s household expenses. Juggling his work schedule and school workload was a struggle, and he began to fall behind in his classes. Through tutoring and school liaison support available through the Afterschool Program, Ali learned to better manage his time to complete his assignments by their due dates.
At one point in the school year, Ali and his brother lost a large portion of their income when Ali’s hours were cut due to the seasonal nature of the work. Staff at the afterschool program were able to connect him to a local business that was hiring. The employer conducted the job interview with Ali at the school during program hours. The employer was eager to hire him and agreed to schedule him only during the weekends. Now Ali is able to concentrate on school during the week while supporting himself and his brother on the weekend.
This year’s program is wrapping up as school comes to a close for the year. To mark the end of the Afterschool Program, students will be honored at an awards ceremony and will be treated to an Atlanta United game to celebrate their hard work over the school year! Congrats to all of our Afterschool Program students for a job well done. We applaud your dedication to learning, growing and improving!
*Stock photography used to protect identities.