YPIS of Staten Island Inc dba New York Center for Interpersonal Development

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Lost in Transition: Farrah's Story  

How many of our dropouts, like Farrah, got lost in transition?

Farrah got lost between middle school and high school. Before that, she was an excellent student. Then, she lost her way.

When she didn't show up in her high school classes, no one seemed to notice or care, so she didn't care either. She hung out with friends. Made fewer and fewer classes. If this was high school, she was having a pretty good time. She didn't think about the consequences until her spiral into failure was well underway.

"I'd always been a very confident student. Failing grades brought me down. My mother was disappointed and confused. And, I couldn't explain to her why I wasn't going to class. Things just kept getting worse."

Finding her way  

At 17, a counselor advised Farrah that it would take two or three more years before she'd have enough credits to graduate. She wanted out of high school sooner, not later.

Then, one of Farrah's friends told her about Olympus Academy. Farrah made a deal with her mother. If she could go to Olympus, she'd commit to going to classes. Why was Olympus different?

"The difference is humungous," Farrah told us. "It's small. The teachers and counselors-- even the principal-- knew me. They called home if I didn't show up in class. They made me feel like I belonged. And that they cared."

"90% of success is just showing up." -- Woody Allen

Once Farrah attended classes again, she became an academic star. Then, she started an internship.

"Oh, boy, I loved the internships. I never knew anything about applying for a job or working."

Over her year and a half at Olympus, she completed four successful internships -- at a hospital, in an after-school program, as a teaching assistant at Olympus and in retail at GameStop.

Within two weeks of completing her last internship and graduating -- using her great references and all she'd learned about searching for a job -- Farrah found a permanent job. She has enrolled at CUNY's Medgar Evers College. She wants to become a nurse. Or maybe even a doctor.

Farrah's Reflections

Farrah says she didn't want to be a "problem kid." Until Olympus, she didn't like high school. Failure can really bring you down.

Her advice to other kids? Just what her Olympus counselors taught her. Stay on task. Change your attitude. Find a school that's about the students, where people care. That's what she did and she's a confident, successful young woman once again.

If you know a young person who needs a second chance, recommend that they consider one of our schools or programs. You can read about Olympus Academy, the Staten Island Young Adult Borough Center, the GPS Program at Port Richmond High School and the ACE Program on our blog.

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YPIS of Staten Island Inc dba New York Center for Interpersonal Development

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130 Stuyvesant Pl
Staten Island, NY 10301


(718) 815-4557