By the time he was 18 years old, Elijah had dropped out of school twice.
“I was in a really dark place at the time, thinking down on myself and feeling like I was not going to amount to anything in life.”
After hearing about Ombudsman from a friend, Elijah was eased by the support and personalized attention he received from the staff.
“The teachers at Ombudsman really helped me catch up with the work, and they were always very thorough.”
Elijah benefited greatly from the support he received while enrolled in our Ombudsman Chicago program. Now, he expresses hope that other students who are faced with some of the challenges he has experienced will commit to their education.
Jorge enrolled in Atlantis Academy Miami’s L.I.F.E. Program (Living Independently with Fundamental Experiences) in 2015.
While enrolled, Jorge gained valuable work and volunteer experience through opportunities with some of Atlantis Academy’s community partners. Through the program he learned important decision-making and problem-solving skills, participated in community involvement and learned how to advocate for himself and others in the community.
Since graduating from the program, Jorge has earned a certificate in food handling safety and has been happily employed at Panda Express for over a year.
Anthony began the 2019-20 school year in a high school classroom in the ChanceLight-Muscogee Therapeutic Day Program.
While enrolled, he progressed in all areas of his IEP and quickly stood out as a student leader. Within several months, he learned to tolerate disappointment, manage anxieties and appropriately advocate for his own needs.
His IEP team soon recommended he transition to his zone school where he will finish his high school career with the appropriate supports and resources in place.
Zack started school at a ChanceLight Therapeutic Day School so he could work towards his diploma at his own pace and receive one-on-one instruction from his teachers. Zack was able to earn credits towards his High School Diploma and developed a more optimistic outlook towards school.
“At the Ombudsman program, I learned that there was still hope for me and graduation. I learned that everyone has to battle a struggle every day, and the best part about that is watching how people overcome those obstacles.”
Zack is a 2020 graduate from our program, and he believes that, “Everyone deserves a good education. It’s just a matter of finding where your work can be put to the best of uses.”
Adrienne started school at a ChanceLight Therapeutic Day School during summer school, coming only one hour a day and once a week due to her anxiety.
Her teachers encouraged her to come to school and worked with her using a team approach, including heavy amounts of social work. By the fall, she began attending full days of school. Adrienne was able to continue to make progress and pass all her classes while enrolled in our program.
She received multiple awards during her time in the program and is now ahead in her credits, successfully transitioned back to her school district full time and has plans for college.
Alexis grew up across the street from Atlantis Academy’s Palm Beaches campus and attended the program for most of her school career.
“My experience at Atlantis Academy was one of the best times of my life. The teachers at Atlantis were kind and patient and helped me grow in so many ways.”
Her experience participating in activities and mentorship programs while in school sparked a passion in Alexis and led her to pursue a career in education. Since receiving the educational support she needed while enrolled in our Atlantis Academy program, Alexis has earned her associate’s degree and her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She now works as a substitute teacher for the Palm Beach County school system and tutors students.
“Atlantis Academy taught me I can be whatever I want to be if I work hard to succeed.”
Zachary had already been through two Senior years of high school before coming to Ombudsman. He knew that a traditional school setting was not working for him, so he decided to make the decision to pursue an alternative approach to his education.
“The flexible schedule gave me the opportunity to pursue other interests and learn about life outside of high school and helped me to succeed in ways that the traditional school couldn’t.”
Zachary is part of Ombudsman Arizona’s 2018 graduating class and found great success and support while enrolled in the program.
“I think it’s safe to say that I wouldn’t have made it through high school without [the staff and teachers] giving me knowledge and information while still giving me the room to grow and mature on my own.”
There are some teachers that, if you don’t understand the work, they’ll have a one-on-one with you until you understand the work.
What I like most about the teachers is that they’re very supportive. It’s not a “right or wrong” answer when I’m talking to them, so I feel that I can come to them about anything.