Chester County OIC SOAR Success Story – Roberto B.
Roberto was referred to CCOIC by the director of a local homeless shelter. At 19 years old he was kicked out of his home by his stepfather. As a homeless youth, Roberto carried a pocketknife in his backpack for protection. When school officials discovered he had a knife, they expelled him halfway through his senior year. Although expelled, he was given the option to complete his schoolwork on-line. The entire SOAR staff worked in tandem with the shelter director to put in place a mechanism for Roberto to be able to complete his schoolwork. With our help providing a safe space with computer access and job preparation opportunities, Roberto has been successfully keeping up with school while also receiving a job placement to begin earning some much needed income.
Roberto’s ex-girlfriend recently gave birth to their child and our SOAR team has assisted him in finding a pro-bono attorney to advocate for parental rights to support his family goals. We’ve rallied around Roberto, accompanying him to additional school hearings, referring him to supportive services for parenting classes, free food distribution, and more. Mentoring is something we take pride and pleasure in with all of our clients, but Roberto has taken this to a whole new level.
Over the past four months, we have been parents, teachers, advisors, disciplinarians, counselors and ultimately, family to Roberto. He is a young man seemingly alone in the world facing discrimination, biases, and challenges beyond what most of us imagine, yet he is steadfastly optimistic. Roberto gives meaning to our jobs and while he is often thanking us for all that we do for him, we are grateful to be a part of his journey.