[pirenko_blockquote author=” — Susan, Civicorps Volunteer Academic Coach” margin=””]Nick is a beacon of hope to help those young people who were previously incarcerated. . . his life is a testimony to personal power. [/pirenko_blockquote]
Civicorps student Nick never expected to be a beacon of hope. A high-school dropout who lived on the streets, he briefly gained some stability living with an uncle and doing construction work. But the streets drew him back, where for a time he was king: he dealt drugs and ruled with fear and intimidation. His world crumbled when he was arrested and imprisoned for nine months. Reflecting on this time, he said, “After jail, I wanted to focus on going back to school. I got good grades in high school, but was pulled away by stuff I was doing on the streets and I was so tired of the streets.”
Now Nick is enrolled at Civicorps where our Case Counselor helped him find housing. During the day he participates in Civicorps’ Job Training Program doing environmental mitigation work throughout the East Bay. Afterwards, he arrives at school where he puts in two hours of study towards his high-school diploma. This former king of the streets has become royalty in a different way—last spring he starred as Hamlet and just this month as Romeo in Civicorps’ bi-annual Shakespeare productions.
According to volunteer Academic Coach Susan, “Nick is so positive, friendly, helpful, and wow, what a sense of humor.” Yes, the same Nick who was once a feared gang leader and ex-con is now someone who “shares his radiance with others.” Nick is on track to graduate in December 2013 and plans to attend Alameda College in January.
Nick’s story is not unusual for Civicorps. All of our students have struggled: some with homelessness, drugs and jail like Nick, and others with learning disabilities, poverty and neglect. All are here because they want to make a better life for themselves; they want to be a beacon of hope for their families and for their community. All of us at Civicorps—teachers, support staff, volunteers (like Susan) and mentors—are ready to do whatever we need to do to clear the obstacles to a better education and job prospects for our students.
As a Civicorps supporter you have a role to play too.
Without you and your financial support there is no school in the East Bay that allows young people like Nick a second chance to shine. With your year-end gift of $100, $500, or $1,000, you join us in believing in the ability of our students to brighten the world in which we all live.
Become a beacon of hope for our students by donating today.