“I’m sorry for yelling at you, I was just really mad…” wrote Andrew (name changed). He had exploded in anger at our Director of Ministries, and after the dust had settled, took it upon himself to grab a flyer from the front desk and write her an apology note on the back of it. Andrew joined CREATE Academy in summer 2016. He had been referred by one of his teachers to improve his math skills. But math was the least of his worries.
Andrew was very angry. Day in and day out he would pick fights, cuss at teachers and lash out at BCM students. It got to the point that not only was his mom (who is a single parent), being contacted regularly by BCM staff, but his psychologist also. There were days when program staff would ask Andrews’ mom to pick him up early because he couldn’t seem to get along with anyone. We always told him he was welcome to come back the next day.
As time went on, Andrew began to open up. One day after Andrew had a heated confrontation with another BCM student, our Middle School Manager took him aside to get to the bottom of why he was so upset. At first, he refused to give an explanation, but eventually he revealed that he was being bullied at school for his appearance and that a comment by one of our students about his appearance had enraged him. Being bullied does not justify becoming a bully, and this was made clear to Andrew, but his honesty allowed us to empathize with his situation and be there for him during the rough times.
After summer programs ended, Andrew joined one of our robotics teams in Fall 2016 and although he continued to have outbursts our, Robotics co-manager said they were fewer and farther between. Andrew participated in Lego Robotics again this past Fall and is currently attending StreetWorkz. “When I see him now, he is so relaxed and calm,” said one of Andrew’s teachers. “You can tell from his face that he is not angry all the time anymore, he is by far the kid I have seen the biggest change in since I’ve been here,” our Director of Ministries said with smile. When discussing Andrew’s reaction to being told that BCM staff had planned to attend his 8th grade graduation, our Middle School Manager said “He knows people here love and care about him and have seen his growth.”
Pictured are a few of our CREATE Academy students.
Students stretch during CREATE Academy's dance class last summer.
Students go on field trips every Friday during CREATE Academy. This Friday, students went hiking.