Julio, a 16-year old male, was referred to Acknowledge Alliance for therapy services while in Juvenile Hall. Even though this was not Julio’s first time in Juvenile Hall, he was very worried about his upcoming court date, felt trapped in his cell and missed his family.
At the onset of his therapy, Julio was very anxious, and thought about himself in very concrete ways. He did not consider any of his habits harmful to himself or others, though he drank, smoked, and got into physical altercations with friends, some leading to bodily injuries. However, over the course of his therapy sessions, Julio learned to allow himself to feel his emotions and express them in words. He was also given the opportunity to share and reflect on traumatic events he had experienced and witnessed.
Ultimately, Julio took responsibility for his actions and conveyed this in court in a genuine manner. He is now able to control his impulses; he no longer fights, even in situations where he felt he had been offended by someone. Julio was able to return to his mainstream school, and is motivated to succeed in his academic work.
One of the primary goals of our counseling services is to keep students enrolled in school so that they can work towards eventual high school graduation.
School connectedness contributes to student retention and dropout prevention. It is positively correlated to healthy self-esteem, self-efficacy, optimism and positive peer relationships, and is negatively related to the development of conduct problems, antisocial behavior, depression, anxiety, emotional distress and suicidality.
Students who are often at-risk face greater challenges in feeling connected to their schools because they have been disconnected from the traditional school system. Despite these challenges, however, Acknowledge Alliance helps students re-establish connections to their schools through caring adults and other meaningful connections.