Four simple words, one big change for Victoriano

Victoriano and Mirna

Victoriano talks with Mirna, one of Common Hope's social workers.

Lesbia Marroquin, coordinator of programs in San Rafael, shared the following success story about one of our students, made possible by your support.

On a recent day in the San Rafael school, Victoriano Vasquez was anxious. It was his day to get his sponsorship birthday gift, a new pair of shoes, and he was practically bursting at the seams to go and pick it out. Finally, he interrupted one of our education promoters, who was explaining an activity, to say it was his turn. “Victor, the teacher is talking,” Patty said quietly. One of our classroom rules is to respect the person talking and raise your hand to participate. He responded, “I’m sorry, go ahead.”

“This might sound simple,” says Lesbia, “but believe me, it is so satisfying to see these kinds of small advances in our kids. A few months ago, such an interaction would have been difficult to believe.” At that time, Victoriano didn’t understand rules, and his attitude was defensive and violent towards others.

Victoriano’s family was affiliated in 2010, and at first it was difficult to get on the same page with the family about things, especially the kids. Most of the time, the kids were in the center of town playing video games. One of the biggest  challenges was keeping Victoriano in school. His attendance was infrequent, and he failed the first grade last year.

At the end the year, we started a children’s group for children who were at risk of failing. Victoriano was invited to participate, but he didn’t attend the first session, even though his mother showed interest in her kids participating. That day, the family’s social worker, Brenda, ran into his mother and asked why the kids hadn’t come. The answer was simple: she had sent them, and she didn’t know why they weren’t there.

After that, Victoriano’s presence was noteworthy and consistent. During the activities, the education promoters realized the great potential Victoriano has. And this school year, one can see a great change in him.

Victoriano has received integrated support from the education promoters at school; from Brenda’s twice weekly visits to the family; from the children’s group; and from his family. All of this teamwork is reflected in the positive changes in our kids.

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