Statistics may help us prove Elevate’s efficacy, but students’ stories from our national affiliates speak for themselves.
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When Miranda first came to the Elevate class, she was shy and very quiet, which is common for Navajo youth. Through the interactive class lessons, she began coming out of her shell and opening up with the Teacher Mentors during her mentoring sessions. After only a month in the class she was actively participating and speaking in front of the class with confidence, especially during skits and role play scenarios. Miranda now participates in weekly after-school mentoring and adventure activities as well, ranging from ultimate frisbee, hikes and basketball. She is extremely athletic. During van drop offs from one such activity, she shared how much she enjoys talking with Elevate Teacher Mentors about important areas of her life, and that it is much easier than talking to her therapist.
Michael shows more leadership qualities each day he is in the Elevate class. He started the year off quiet, at first then became quite disruptive once the two Elevate freshmen classes combined. However, when we started to implement 1-on1 mentoring for the students, we told him we believe in him and challenged him to soak up what the class offers. He just needed to hear the words, “we believe in you” because from that moment on, he has improved in so many ways and is now someone we consider as one of our top students. Recently, Michael began to take initiative through leading group discussions and facilitating conversations when we ask our students to share responses with each other. He actually reminds other students to pay attention and is fully engaged in our class. With this in mind, we decided to write him a thank you card affirming him about all his progress throughout our class, and his response to our letter was “Thank you guys for being there”. We couldn’t have received a better response; such a sincere “thank you”. He noticed we are willing to be present in his life and spend some time getting to know and understand him.