When Martin stepped into our office, Jacque could tell that his arrival was an achievement. Leaving the house is difficult for Martin. He grew up surrounded by gang violence in his neighborhood, and now he is overwhelmed by anxiety whenever he tries to leave the house.
Martin has not been in a classroom in over two years. Since he struggled to attend school regularly, Martin and his mother opted to enroll him in an online home school. However his anxiety continued to impact his attendance, and the school dropped him from their services. His school district never reached out to check on him, and now he has gone over a year without any instruction.
Martin still has big dreams. “He told me he wants to attend college. Right now he wants to go to his local high school, hang out with other teenagers. He wants to live,” Jacque, our volunteer who conducted Martin’s intake, tells us. To get back to school, he first had to get to Learning Rights. “You could tell when he got here just how worried he had been. When we got started he and his social worker were laughing and smiling, saying, ‘see, she isn’t scary is she?’” Jacque met with Martin, his mom, and his social worker. Together the two women make up what Jacque calls Martin’s ‘team’. “He needed that team just to get him out of the house.”