Grad Spotlight: A Stage for Success

The Home's News

When Billy* came to The COVE School as an eighth grader in 2018, he was reluctant and resistant, and afraid to try new things. Too much in his life was new and uncertain. His single mother had just suffered a stroke, and she was unable to care for him while she recovered, so he was placed at The Home’s Southeast Campus residential program also onsite.

At school, Billy would demand that his activities and schedule match what he was used to in previous grades, where he last felt safe. His apprehensions and responses to trauma found expression in challenging, aggressive behaviors, common in youth who have experienced periods of neglect.

Over time, Billy began to trust The Home’s teachers, clinicians and direct care staff, who helped him work through his behaviors and connect them to his emotions. His behaviors slowly subsided, while his excitement for The COVE School’s vocational programs, like the culinary arts and equine science, grew…as did his aptitude.

In 2020, he returned home, as his mother had further recovered. He stayed on as a day student at The COVE School and became a leader, looked up to by his peers, in our vocational and academic classes. His growth was also felt at home. He began working at a local grocery store to help support his family, and he prepares meals and participates in household chores.

Because of his academic success and ability to regulate his behaviors, in 2021, Billy’s school district extended him an opportunity to “step down” to a mainstreamed public school environment. Billy advocated to stay right where he was, where he felt supported and successful. Billy graduated from The COVE School this month, to the cheers of the students and faculty of his school community. Billy has a college acceptance as well as his diploma. In the fall, he will study nursing.

*The student’s name has been changed for privacy.


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