According to Trinity River Mission Executive Director Dolores Sosa Green,
“My holiday wish is for all of the 550+ students we serve to believe in their ability to succeed.
“So often the challenging circumstances in our students’ lives affect their ability to concentrate, to understand their homework and, worst of all, to believe in themselves. In fact, we know from the groundbreaking Adverse Childhood Experiences Study done by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that living in poverty, experiencing chronic stress or trauma, or not feeling prepared for school make students 19% more likely to drop out, score lower on tests, have language difficulties, and be at risk for an assortment of mental health issues.
“But we also have seen first-hand at TRM that, with a little TLC, our students’ challenging circumstances do not have to define them.
“Just look at Ricardo, a 1st grader at TRM who is on the autism spectrum. When he started at TRM last year, he was having daily tantrums on the floor, had to be carried to class by his mother, and his speech was incomprehensible. His mom was hopeless and desperate for a miracle.
“But because of the academic instruction, caring relationships, and targeted intervention he received at TRM, Ricardo is learning how to break through his tantrums, stimulate his mind in a healthy way, and discovering that participation and learning can be fun! In just one year, Ricardo can now walk by himself to class and is vastly improving in school.
“And, this holiday season, we can do even more for Ricardo. With your support this December, Ricardo (and other students like him) will also be paired with a therapy dog he can read to every week. This non-judgmental practice will allow Ricardo to build up his speech in a stress-free way and give his mom the miracle she’s been waiting for: for her son to finally believe in himself and his ability to succeed.
“I hope you’ll join me and make more miracles like Ricardo happen this holiday season. Your gift means Ricardo and his friends won’t have to wait another minute to receive the support they need to succeed in school and overcome their struggles.
“To make your gift, just go to www.TrinityRiverMission.org/donate ”
-By Dolores Sosa Green, Trinity River Mission executive director
* Graphic and photo proved by Trinity River Mission