Real-time collaboration and continuous action
create ideal conditions for future success.
boilerplate image

Recognizing and Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness

Webinar:


Recognizing and Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness

Panelists
Tiffany Anderson, Ed. D., Superintendent of Schools, Topeka Public Schools (KS)
Deb Delisle, President, Alliance for Excellent Education
Barbara Duffield
, Executive Director, SchoolHouse Connection
Kara Freise, 2016 SchoolHouse Connection Scholar and Student, Columbia University Teachers College
Jason Amos, Vice President of Communications, Alliance for Excellent Education (Moderator)

On November 18, 2019 the Alliance for Excellenet Education held a webinar on the issues Homeless Students are experiencing.  For the 2016-2017 school year, there were as many homeless students—1.3 million—as there were people living in Dallas, Texas, America’s ninth-largest city. Even worse, that large number probably undercounts students experiencing homelessness as students often hide their homelessness from educators due to the stigma surrounding it.

Without support to overcome poor health, hunger, a lack of supplies and clothing, and other challenges, homeless students often struggle in school, evidenced by their 64 percent high school graduation rate—a rate that is the lowest among the subgroups of students for which data is reported and 14 percentage points below the rate for students from low-income families.

In this webinar, part of the Alliance for Excellent Education’s yearlong #OurChallengeOurHope campaign to both honor the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case and focus on the continuing needs of our most underserved students sixty-five years after Brown was decided, our expert panel shared their knowledge on how educators can recognize and support students who are experiencing homelessness.


Please direct questions concerning the webinar to jamos@all4ed.org.


If you are interested in renting the Alliance’s facilities for your next meeting or webinar, please visit our facilities page to learn more.

Jason Amos:               [Multimedia playing]

Hello and welcome to today’s webinar. I’m Jason Amos. I wanna thank Naomi, Rachel, Adam, and Tim for sharing their stories with us. The resilience they’ve shown in the face of tremendous challenges should be an inspiration to us all. We must also realize that their challenges are not unique for students experiencing homelessness.

Today, our expert panel will share their knowledge on how educators can recognize and support students like Naomi, Rachel, Adam, and Tim, who are experiencing homelessness. This webinar is part of the Alliance for Excellent Education’s yearlong Our Challenge, Our Hope campaign, to both honor the landmark Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka supreme court case, and focus on the continuing needs of our most underserved students, 65 years after Brown was decided. Through the campaign, we hope to ensure that the spotlight on this landmark case doesn’t dim until the next anniversary. You can learn more about our campaign, and join us in our efforts, at all4ed.org/brownvboard. You can also tweet about the campaign and today’s webinar, using the #ourchallengeourhope hashtag.

Throughout November, as part of National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month, our campaign is elevating the needs of homeless students. Joining me in the studio is Barbara Duffield, executive director of SchoolHouse Connection, a national nonprofit organization working to overcome homelessness through education. For more than 20 years, Barbara has bridged policy and practice in early care education, housing, and homelessness. We also have a variety of experts joining us remotely. First up is Deb Delisle, all4ed’s president and CEO. Deb has worn just about every education hat imaginable, from classroom teacher and school principal to district and state superintendent to assistant secretary of K-12 education for President Obama.

Joining us from Topeka, Kansas, is Dr. Tiffany Anderson, the current superintendent of Topeka Public Schools, and a public-school educator for more than 26 years. In previous roles, Dr. Anderson has served as superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools in Virginia, and Jennings School District in Missouri. Among her many awards, Dr. Anderson has been recognized as one of the Top Six People with Purpose, at the 2016 Oscars, for her innovative work in education. She’s also been named one of the nation’s 16 Leaders to Learn From, by Education Week. And she’s received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteerism, from President Obama, and the Salute to Excellence for Women, by the Urban League.

Joining us from Columbia University Teacher’s College, where she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in psychological counseling is Kara Freise. Kara is a 2016 SchoolHouse Connection Scholar, from Brentwood, New York. Her research interests include minority stress theory, resilience and protective factors for at-risk youth, and implications for psychotherapy practice. Thanks to each of you for joining us today.

Before we get into today’s program, I want to appreciate and recognize that Dr. Anderson is joining us from Topeka, a city that was central in the Brown versus Board of Education case that we honor today. Dr. Anderson, as a superintendent of Topeka Public Schools, does Brown versus Board hold a special significance for you?

 

Tiffany Anderson:       Absolutely. I am the first black female superintendent in Topeka, Kansas, and so, that, in and of itself, begins to set a path of continuing to make history, and open some areas that perhaps were barriers many years ago. So, that case itself really is part of what attracted me to come to Topeka, Kansas, to lead, as we advocate for equity for all students.

 

Jason Amos:               Thank you, Dr. Anderson. Turning to todays’ topic, for the 2016-2017 schoolyear, there were more than 1.3 million homeless students enrolled in public K-12 schools, a 7 percent increase over the past 3 years. Preliminary data for 2017-2018 estimates that there were more than 1.5 million homeless children and youth, the highest number on record. To put that number into perspective, 1.5 million is about the size of the entire population of the city of Philadelphia, the 6th largest city in the Untied States. And even though that number is large, it probably undercounts the students who experience homelessness.

Barbara, your organization has been at the forefront of the charge to both recognize the challenges facing homeless students and advocate for more resources to support them. Can you tell us why that number might underestimate the homeless student population in the United States?

 

Barbara Duffield:       Sure. The issue of child and youth homelessness, and family homelessness, is very much an invisible issue in our communities. There’s a tremendous amount of shame and stigma and fear that goes along with experiencing homeliness, so parents may not come forward to identify themselves, because they’re afraid that their children will be removed. Certainly, children may be afraid of disclosing, and that’s also true for youth who are in high school. Also, the stigma associated with experiencing homelessness. So, for those reasons, it’s a very invisible population. The other issue, too, is that many educators, and many families and youth themselves, may not know what the federal definition of homelessness is.

You know, you hear the word “homeless,” you think about a single adult outside in a big city. The reality is that most families, most children and youth who experience homelessness are staying temporarily with somebody else, because there’s nowhere else to go, because shelters are full, because shelters may have rules that exclude them, because they’re afraid of shelters, so they may be staying with other people, or they may be staying in motels. And so, that’s not what people, including educators, typically think about when they hear the word “homeless.” And then, another big reason that we know that the number of students who are experiencing homelessness are under-identified is that there may not be the kind of robust training of school personnel.

So, every school district is, you know, required to designate a liaison who is required to provide professional development, but if that professional development and training doesn’t occur on a regular basis, if it’s not thorough in terms of all the eyes and ears of the school body, and if the liaison doesn’t have the time or the ability to do the training, then we know we’re gonna miss students.

 

Jason Amos:               You make a good point about training of school personnel. A little later in the webinar, we’re gonna talk about some of the signs that educators maybe can be aware of as they try to evaluate or identify students who might be experiencing homelessness.

Deb, as I mentioned, you’ve worn a lot of education hats in your career. What have you observed in regard to support, or lack thereof, for homeless students?

 

Deb Delisle:                Yeah, so, first let me say how my heart just aches for homeless kids. At this point in time, I have not noticed a national conversation or a priority being placed on the basic needs of kids, especially those who are so vulnerable such as our homeless population. And so, what I’ve noticed and I strongly recognize that there are true heroes at local individual spots, such as Tiffany Anderson. People who recognize that learning doesn’t start when kids enter school. It actually starts in their experiences and oftentimes the challenges that kids are facing outside of the school.

So, what I have observed are people who build strong relationships, strong partnerships with community advocates, with resources in the community, and they do everything that they can. And mind you – and I wanna add this – you don’t learn about this in superintendent school or principal school. So, this is imbedded in the DNA of people who care genuinely about kids, people like Tiffany Anderson, as I mentioned, who reach out and understand that those kids who are homeless are particularly vulnerable. They are often hungry, their teeth may be hurting, they may not have different sets of clothes to wear every day, they certainly don’t have enough resources within their confines of where they’re living, they don’t have books at home to read. So, we rely on leaders and every educator, to reach out to see what is it that their kids need once they walk into that school. And they recognize that the community and the conditions in which kids are living are intertwined with academic achievement, or the lack thereof.

 

Jason Amos:               Barbara, I wanna pick up on Deb’s point about the impact that being homeless can have on a student’s education. As an advocate for reducing homelessness, you’ve chosen to focus on education. How do you think education can prevent people from becoming homeless?

 

Barbara Delisle:         Education is a critical tool in overcoming homelessness, and we believe that, actually, education is the only permanent solution. We know, for example, that quality, early childhood quality preschool, children who have quality preschool are more likely to graduate from high school and to own their own homes. We also know that there’s a tremendous income difference between youth who graduate high school and those who do not. So the ability to afford housing is dependent upon having a high school diploma to get a job that allows a young person to maintain housing. And also, we know that, increasingly, the number of jobs that are being created by this economy require some form of post-secondary education.

So, if the goal is to truly stop the cycle of poverty in homelessness, then education has to be at the forefront of the discussion. In fact, there’s actually research that just came out that shows that the single greatest risk factor associated with experiencing homelessness as a young person is lack of a high school degree or a GED. So, education plays a tremendous and critical protective role against homelessness.

 

Jason Amos:               Thank you.

Kara, I wanna turn to you. How was your high school experience different than some of your classmates?

 

Kara Freise:               So, my high school experience was different than a lot of my peers _____ _____ _____ _____ because of a lot of systemic barriers that students who are not homeless didn’t have to face. So, a really big one was transportation. When your address is unstable, it’s really hard to get a bus pass or a bus route that gets you where you need to go. If you don’t know where you’re gonna be sleeping that night, you really can’t arrange transportation, as a high school student. Another really difficult thing to manage was lack of access to a computer or a printer or a quiet space to do homework. Typically, our parents weren’t around to proofread essays or sign tests or anything like that.

So, we were still being held at the same standards as our peers, we still had, in New York State, still had to pass all _____ _____ _____ and even we took AP – I’m sorry, when I say “we,” I’m referring to myself and my identical twin sister. So if I say “we” [glitch interviews with audio] I have an identical twin sister. So, we were being held at the same standard as our peers, having to pass our _____ exams and all these attendance and lateness policies, but there were a lot of barriers standing in our way. And then finally, something that I think some people don’t always realize about one of the struggles of being homeless is that we were constantly sick. Due to our living situation, you know, there were times when there was _____ _____ people staying in one room, without windows.

So, we constantly had, like, sore throats and coughs and [glitch interviews with audio] for you. Or if we did get to a doctor – and access to doctors was also a difficulty – they would say, “Well, I’m not gonna give you antibiotics again, because you just had them, like, how can you be sick again.” Also, you know, in [glitch interviews with audio] situation, it was hard to get enough sleep, and some of the 2017 youth risk behavior study does show that a majority of homeless students are getting less than six hours of sleep a night. So, in my experience, I was constantly exhausted, I was constantly falling asleep in class, and a lot of educators perceived that as, like, lack of motivation or lack of interest, so that was really hard. So just all of these kind of systemic barriers, lack of resources, and yet, not being identified as homeless and still being held at the same standards, and not being able to access even supports that _____ _____ for homeless students, because I wasn’t identified.

 

Jason Amos:               Kara, thank you so much for sharing some of the challenges you faced in your high school career. I think when people imagine someone who might be experiencing homelessness, a lot of challenges come forefront to their minds right away. But some of the things you mentioned may not, like a quiet place to study, or just the ability to stay healthy and not be constantly around so many people in a closed-in space, as you say. So, I just really appreciate you sharing that experience with our audience. Earlier, Barbara talked about some of the support personnel within schools who exist to help support students who may be experiencing homelessness. Can you talk about whether there was a teacher or a group of people who played a large role in your own education?

 

Kara Freise:               So, unfortunately, I wasn’t identified as experiencing homelessness, until my senior year of high school. And that was really unfortunate, because I would’ve greatly benefited from _____ _____ services that were available in my district. So, without that support, I didn’t have transportation – that was the biggest barrier. In terms of my experiences with school counselors and the school psychologist, they even tended to take a more punitive approach with me. They would often get really frustrated and perceive my difficulties as a lack of personal motivation, often encourage me to take personal responsibility for my problems. When, truthfully, a lot of the difficulties I was experiencing were out of my control.

So, like, I once had a school psychologist say to me how stressful it was to meet with me, and how she needed to take a personal day after dealing with the crisis my family went through. And as a school psychologist [glitch interviews with audio] that just made me feel so much more afraid to go to her next time there was an emergency, because she told me that I made her take a personal day. So, that’s what not to do. I did have one really fantastic music teacher. All throughout high school, I was really involved in musical theater and choir, and that was a really great resource for me, both emotionally to kind of have an outlet to let out all of the pain I was experiencing. But also, the deep connections you form with those teachers who run those programs.

I _____ _____ teacher who opened up her _____ to me all day, and she said, “If you’re getting overwhelmed, if there are other teachers not understanding, if you have a need, like, you need a pass to the nurse’s office to go lay down, come to my classroom and I will write you a pass, and I’ll _____ with your guidance counselor _____ _____ trouble.” So, she was so wonderful, she chose _____ _____ above and beyond. When she found out our family had been evicted from our home, she actually came to the homeless shelter and brought us snacks and clothes for the next day for school, because we lost everything we owned. So, she was an extraordinary example of an educator who went above and beyond, and I’m still in touch with her. So, that’s one example of an educator that really helped me get through school.

 

Jason Amos:               That’s amazing, and I think you make a really good point for educators out there is, it’s so in your interest and the student’s interest to just get to know your students more on a personal level. You know, you talk about the psychologist who it was so stressful for her to just listen to you and the things you went through, without even imagining what that could’ve been like for you and your family to experience. And just the difference that your music teacher could make by just knowing more about you as an individual, and provide those support services to you. Or just kind of be there for you, or just opening a space in her room, I think, is an important lesson for educators to just take time to get to know your students on a personal level.

And don’t assume things that you may expect them to be going through, “Oh, you know, you’re not motivated,” or, “You know, you need to really step up and do more things on your own.” Take the time to learn why a student may be, you know, going through what they’re going through, and just trying to provide support in that way. You talked a little bit about some signs that you may have been showing to your teachers who might not have been on the lookout for them, like constantly being sick. Are there other things that educators could be on the lookout for, other signs that maybe students might be showing? We heard from Barbara about how, you know, students try to really hide what they’re experiencing. Are there signs maybe educators could be on the lookout for, to identify a student who may need some extra support, who may be undergoing a really significant challenge in terms of housing?

 

Kara Freise:               Yeah, I think there’s [glitch interviews with audio] I can approach this response to your question, and the first is kind of addressing some myths. So, sometimes students who are experiencing homelessness or a crisis in the family might have, like, nice clothes or a recent phone. And so, in my experience, those students tend to get overlooked, because a student that’s dressed nicely and seems to have money, a teacher would not immediately assume that student is experiencing homelessness. And those assumptions can be a really big barrier for identification. So, one thing not to make assumptions about is their appearance.

And as Barbara mentioned, there is a lot of shame, so I think a lot of homeless students put a lot of effort into not looking homeless. So, just my very first tip for educators would be: don’t make assumptions based on appearance. In terms of identification and symptoms you might notice, so, being tired in class is a big one, and this is true for students who are experiencing homelessness or have other things going on at home, ’cause they’re not getting adequate sleep, they’re likely dozing off in class. I did another webinar with another SchoolHouse Connections scholar, and we talked about how she was always eating in class, because she didn’t have access to food outside of school. And some teachers [glitch interviews with audio] eating in the classroom, so if you notice a student is eating a lot in class, that might be a red flag.

Also, for myself, I know I was very high-achieving, and so it was very confusing to my teachers when I would go in and get a perfect score on an exam, and then not turn in homework all week. So, if you notice a disparity among the quality of the student’s performance in the classroom and then the quality of work that requires out-of-class work, that’s something you might notice. Because that really hurt my GPA, and it was a big source of frustration for my teachers, and I wasn’t comfortable exposing to those teachers why I didn’t do my homework. So often, I would just take the failing grades and not ask for accommodations. So, definitely _____ for some students there could be a disparity between performance in the classroom and out of the classroom.

But there are also students that are so impacted by what they’re going through at home, or, you know, [glitch interviews with audio] that they don’t perform well in the classroom, so it could really go either way. A high-achieving student in the classroom that is showing disparities or a student that is not achieving what you would expect at the grade level, that’s another big one. And then also, just being mindful of the fact that, for every student that a school district might identify, there’s probably two or three more flying under the radar. So, just kind of being mindful of your audience and your larger classroom policies that might be hurting people who are not being identified.

 

Jason Amos:               Thank you.

Dr. Anderson, I wanna get to you. You’ve created some innovative approaches to support students facing homelessness. We’re gonna learn more about those in just a minute, but first, I wanna get, from your perspective, how can educators better identify students who are experiencing homelessness?

 

Tiffany Anderson:       Well, I’ll give you some examples. You know, everything that we do and any job, I believe, is based on the foundation of relationships. You have to have relationships to get anything done. And, well, by relationship, we’re talking about building trust. Avenues of trust are created by being visible and making sure that you are spending time to get to know the student, that you focus on the problem as the problem, and not the child or the family as the problem. You know, a lot of times, students will be disengaged when they’re homeless, or students, if you really look or listen, or have a variety of red flags that lets you know that they need another level of support than what you might normally be able to provide.

That might include looking at what they eat at lunch, it may include asking them questions about their family network. It also includes being out of the community. You know, a lot of getting to know families _____ _____ through home visits, by being at a ballgame, by making sure that you hang out at the laundromat. I don’t know why parent conferences have to happen in a school setting. Why can’t they happen at the grocery store or at the laundromat or at a football game? You know, seek to understand, in order to _____. And to understand, you have to go to where the people are.

It’s really boots-to-the-ground, or, in my world, sneakers-to-the-ground, work. So, I wear tennis shoes every day, because my work happens, really, on the street [glitch interviews with audio]. And so, really getting to know students is about building a relationship, and it happens in a variety of ways. _____ _____ _____ it’s really, the next step is, creating opportunities for resources in ways that continue to uplift the dignity of that family. So if you _____ _____ _____, “Hey, if you need something, ask me,” I’m always concerned when that’s the model that a school have. You know, people should not have to ask you to help them with their needs, because they may never ask. Pride is a huge piece that all of us carry.

And so, if you understand the needs that are in your community, why not [glitch interviews with audio] and those that need to partake in using some of those resources _____. As an example, most of our elementary schools, 15 of our elementary schools have washers and driers in them, and three of our secondary schools. Parents can, at their own time and leisure, wash and dry clothes, in exchange for an hour of volunteerism. We have the same model _____ _____. We have parent volunteers, every day, in our schools. They didn’t have to ask to use the laundry facilities; they knew that _____ _____ they could use them as they chose _____.

Another example for us, when students go on field trips, or they need to take the ACT, or any of those things, we build in our budget [glitch interviews with audio] support families in those areas. And the new SLRs allow _____ flexibility to pay for ACT tests, so why do we have to tell students that they have to ask us if they need tutoring, if you know that they’re already free/reduced lunch? So, seeking to understand allows [glitch interviews with audio] resources made available [glitch interviews with audio] educators _____ look for those resources, that they already have, and strategically putting them in places where they know _____ _____ _____.

 

Jason Amos:               Thank you.

Barbara, is there anything that you would like to add about how schools can effectively identify and support homeless students?

 

Barbara Duffield:       Sure, just a few things. I mean, I think, first of all, globally, identification has to be ongoing and systemic. So it can’t just be at the beginning of the year you do a training for teachers and that’s it. It has to be at all levels. So, we’ve talked a lot about the signs that teachers should be noticing, but also the enrollment, secretaries, front desk, they’re often the first to see families, they need to be trained. Bus drivers who may see students getting off at different stops. Cafeteria workers who may notice children hoarding food. Janitors who may see children coming in early or staying late. Coaches, also, who may _____ _____.

So, you know, the school – anyone who is eyes and ears needs to be trained on these signs. And needs to know, then, what to do once they suspect a student may be experiencing homelessness. And that’s where it’s so important, again, to have sensitivity to what might be going on, and not say, for example, “Hey, are you homeless?” But to ask questions that help the young person or the parent feel trust and that there might be help available. So I would say that. I also think it’s really important to work with the community, because there may be students who aren’t in school, who should be in school, who are experiencing homelessness.

So that means not just the agencies in the community who are already working with families and youth experiencing homelessness, but also, for example, you know, law enforcement or libraries often will see students, families, who are experiencing homelessness, and they may not know they have a right to go to school. A part of the federal law requires schools to disseminate notice, where children and youth may be, so that could be a laundromat, you know, that could be a convenience store. So being really creative about getting the word out in the community, so that many different sectors can be involved in letting parents and youth know they have a right to go to school, and helping them get there.

 

Jason Amos:               You make a really good point about being sensitive, if you are suspecting that a student may be experiencing homelessness. Kara, I wanna get back to you, how should educators approach that topic with students? You know, wanting to be sensitive, like your music teacher, not like your psychologist, what advice might you have for educators on approaching students who they might think are experiencing homelessness.

 

Kara Freise:               Barbara made a really good point about not just asking a student, “Hey, are you homeless?” Sometimes students might be experiencing homelessness, but not think they qualify as homeless. So, in my experience, we were what some educators would call “doubled-up,” like Barbara talked about earlier, where we were staying with other people temporarily, because we didn’t have anywhere else to go. And so, I _____ _____ counted as homeless, because, technically, I had a roof over my head, I was sleeping on somebody’s floor. But, you know, [glitch interviews with audio] shelter living in our car, at that time.

So, more creative ways you can approach learning more about the situation might be asking, like, “Where do you sleep at night?” or, “Who do you live with? How many people are in your house?” things like that, just to kind of get more information. And I would say definitely always try to approach with curiosity rather than judgment. So, “Tell me more about your situation at home,” will get you a lot more information than, “Are you homeless?” And also, you know, I think a lot of well-intended educators and school staff would approach me, but they would do so at times that it was really embarrassing for me. So, I once had that same school psychologist come up to me while I was walking in the hallway and say, “Here, I have clothes for you, if you want them,” in front of my peers.

And that was so embarrassing, because I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t have a bunch of clothes, and she had pointed out that I didn’t have a winter jacket on, and I was so embarrassed that I didn’t go back to get the clothes. Or, like, _____ teacher _____ chatting with a student, and they say, “Hey, can you stay after class?” in front of the class, what do the kids do? They go, “Oh, you’re in trouble.” And then that student gets really embarrassed and flustered. So, being mindful of more discreet and respectful ways to communicate with the student, in a way that’s not in front of their peers, and doesn’t convey judgment, and doesn’t reveal to other people who might not know the situation.

 

Jason Amos:               That’s great, that’s just really more helpful advice, Kara. Do you have any other advice for educators, on how they can provide support to students, once they learn that they are, in fact, experiencing homelessness?

 

Kara Freise:               So, one thing I learned about, throughout my education and in my personal experiences, is that adopting a restorative justice model, rather than a punitive model, is a great way to address all of these needs at once. A lot of needs of students are very systemic, and small changes in the classroom might not necessarily address the root problems. So, I would say, for educators, consider how your classroom policies might disproportionately harm students _____ homelessness or don’t have resources. So, things like – maybe not for high school but middle-schoolers – requiring a parent’s signature on a test _____ parents _____ work at night, and they’re getting a failing grade because a parent didn’t sign their exam, that’s a classroom policy that you can change.

Also, things like being mindful of the types of assignments you’re giving out. If your assignments require using a computer for research or printing things out, _____ _____ try to build time into classroom time for students to access the computer, so homeless students don’t have to out themselves to you and say, “I don’t have a computer at home. I don’t have a place to do that project.” So, especially for students that are not being identified, that’s a huge barrier. So I think just from a larger scale, policy and classroom practices, being mindful of how students that don’t have access to certain resources can still be able to do their homework.

Because for me, [glitch interviews with audio] I had to do a lot of, like, printing or research on the computer, I wouldn’t turn in the assignment. And it wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it was just that it wasn’t possible for me.

 

Jason Amos:               Thanks, Kara, those are some really helpful small changes that teachers can make to their policies, that I think would have a big difference in the lives of students who might be experiencing homelessness.

Dr. Anderson, as I mentioned, you’ve approached homelessness among your students in some very innovative ways. While you were at Jennings School District, you used your brain but also good old-fashioned sweat to support homeless students in the district. Can you tell us about Hope House, and how you got it off the ground?

 

Tiffany Anderson:       Yeah, absolutely. There are so many resources, within any school district, that we really can use, if you are looking at ways to close opportunity gaps. Hope House is an example of that. There was an instance in which not only did we know that we had homeless children, but an instance in which I met a particular homeless young man. And as we had conversation about his experience, I was really fascinated at how students, at a very young age, learn how to deal with homelessness and poverty in ways that we can’t even imagine. And in doing so, it really is an opportunity for us to look at all of our partners and to plan ways for our students to not only get across those barriers but to create greater opportunity.

So I asked my staff if we owned any building in the district, that we could repurpose to address the issue of homelessness. And were there any other places in the nation that did that. Now, there was no other Hope House in the nation, but what we did find was a place that provided _____ _____ services to kids in their district, and it was in a place called Maplewood, which wasn’t too far from Jennings. So we toured that house as a team, we came back to Jennings, we identified an old dilapidated [glitch interviews with audio]. It cost too much to tear it down, many years ago, so it still existed in the district. I asked the school board if I could use just $50,000.00 as seed money to begin repairs, and then we got the story out.

And as people heard the story, donations came pouring in. We _____ _____ of things that I just would love to see in the home [glitch interviews with audio] and people saw the photos. Everything in that home is purchased by individuals who wanted to contribute. And then we began partnering with the foster care center in Saint Louis. I named the location Hope House, because it really is a symbol of how you give hope in a community. How do you restore hope and how do you build on things that you already have, to close opportunity gaps? As a result of that house, students actually go to that home if they’re homeless or if they’re in foster care, and our partner agency, Missouri Baptist Boston Home, provides a house parent that’s trained as a foster care parent.

And she gets the privilege of having a home at no cost, and all maintenance and facility costs are taken care of by the district. Hope House now has a foundation with hundreds of thousands of dollars in it, to allow it to continue on for years to come. And that came, really, as people heard about the story, they were willing to contribute. So, it has greatly reduced poverty and homelessness, and it’s also given a home _____ child in foster care, until they graduate.

 

Jason Amos:               Thank you. Now that you’re at Topeka, you’re continuing your focus on homeless students, through the Impact Avenues program. Can you tell us a little bit about that program?

 

Tiffany Anderson:       Well, the strategy that we used at Jennings is really a system. Systemically, these things could be replicated. So, Impact Avenues, once again, a place in _____ was already reducing homelessness by 50 percent. That’s pretty amazing. And they did that over the course of about four to five years, and so, we really are replicating their system, but tailoring it to Topeka. I would encourage all educators that if you first look at what other places are doing and _____ your story, you generally can [glitch interviews with audio] that system. So, Impact Avenues is really a pretty simplistic way of wrapping our hands around homelessness.

We have a school liaison that we have offered to support Impact Avenues. Impact Avenues really is a group of partners that’s come together, they have one facility within Topeka, individuals are identified by the homeless coordinators at their individual schools throughout the county. They then turn those names in to the liaison _____ we provide [glitch interviews with audio] public schools. And then the parents come to one facility, the parents who are homeless, and they get all the businesses that they need, in one location. So, things that would normally take six to eight weeks or more to get [glitch interviews with audio] to get, like a voucher for housing, healthcare, food stamps, all of those agencies are in one location. So the family walks in homeless and leaves no longer homeless when they walk out the door – the same day.

So, we have landlords who have agreed to give housing vouchers _____ _____ parents to live in immediately. There are a variety of other _____ counseling agencies, to ensure families not only leave no longer homeless, but they stay out of homelessness long-term. So, we are already reaping the benefit from that, and it’s only been open for the last month. So, it’s, again, run by _____ individuals throughout the community, who are wrapping their arms around this work. Alone, we can’t do anything; together, we can accomplish so much.

 

Jason Amos:               Thank you, Dr. Anderson.

We heard, earlier, from Barbara, about why she approaches homelessness through education. Addressing homelessness has obviously been a huge priority for you in your career. Can you tell us a little bit more about why you’ve chosen that issue to place your focus?

 

Barbara Duffield:       You know, there is a strong positive correlation between poverty and education, and even the school-to-prison pipeline. Generational poverty has a lot to do with students starting off standing in a ditch as opposed to getting a running start, and not being able to make that high-jump [glitch interviews with audio] when you get a running start. So, as an example, a student in poverty, that is homelessness, often has a higher mobility rate, often will start out school with a lower literacy rate and vocabulary. And that gap continues to widen every year, the longer they are homeless or the longer they are in poverty. So, if we can eliminate poverty and generational poverty, or at least disrupt it, by closing those opportunity gaps, by ensuring families are _____ home, by ensuring that we _____ families that live at the homeless shelters, by giving the kind of education that families need to stay out of homelessness, which includes increasing the literacy rate, we will, in essence, change the population that graduates from high school [glitch interviews with audio] career.

_____ one of the things that we track most frequently in Topeka, and frequently in Jennings, are the students that graduated that went to college, and went immediately into careers. And when we were looking at the students that dropped out, those are students who often were in the higher poverty range throughout their entire school career, students that made it and went to college either found a way to close that opportunity gap or they were able to move into college because they had a support network. [Glitch interferes with audio] our support networks, that allow for a student to close _____ _____ a barrier. By doing that, we’re changing the landscape of Topeka as we did in Saint Louis.

The careers and the economic gaps that are there [glitch interviews with audio] that we have in terms of _____ jobs, we’re seeing that reduce exponentially. As we reduce the poverty gap, we are contributing to increasing economic prosperity in our community. And all of this can be replicated in any city [glitch interviews with audio].

 

Jason Amos:               Deb, I wanna get back to you. What do you see as solutions for better supporting students experiencing homelessness?

 

Deb Delisle:                So, one of the things I think about, often, is that we really have to step back, as leaders in an educational environment, whether it’s a superintendent or a principal, very much the way that Tiffany Anderson describes the approaches she uses in school districts, we have to recognize that this is an issue. So, for example, I wasn’t really aware, when I was a superintendent of a school district, of the numbers of homeless kids. I anticipated there were a couple, until a major event occurred and a social worker brought that information to me. And I was bowled over. And I could’ve denied that or I could’ve said, “Look, there are plenty of resources in the community.”

But I had to dig down deep inside of myself, and then start to interview kids and say, “What is it that you need? How can we help you?” And as mentioned so often is that kids have a pride about themselves, they don’t want to feel like anyone else recognizes that they’re homeless – there’s a stigma attached to that. So, we had to be sure that our educators were primed with resources and availability of what happens in the community, to these families. The second thing is, we had to be sure that we were working with the communities who were adjacent to us. Because very often, when kids are transient and they move from one community to another, or even intra-district enrollment where they’re moving from one school to another, very often, those students’ records do not follow along with them, in at least a timely manner that will best benefit from them.

So, we had to reach out to communities who were adjacent to us, to say, “Look, we want to establish a policy in which kids’ records transfer ASAP, particularly those kids who may have an IEP, for example, and require special education services.” So, that’s the second thing. And the third is that we have to be sure that every adult in the community recognizes that there are homeless kids among us, homeless families. And not to put their head in the sand, but to come together, as a community, to figure out what resources are available. So, I would love if every community was able to build a Hope House, similar to what Tiffany Anderson did in the community.

I would love for people to step up to the plate and say no child will go hungry, they won’t be food anxious when they get home. If there’s a snow day called, they’re not relying on the school system to actually feed them, but perhaps we can open our cafeterias to families, we can open our tech labs. We have to see schools more as a community hub, rather than a place that opens at 8:00 and closes at 3:00. And recognize we have to reach out to families wherever they’re at. So, whether it’s registration is taking place at a church or at a target or at a grocery store, close to a hotel where there are homeless families, we have to recognize that we have to reach out and not wait for people to come.

Now, I’ll give one specific example of this. When I became aware of the numbers of homeless children in our community, I was asking our principals which resources in the community did they tap into to help kids. And they realized, by going back to their staffs, that all staff members weren’t aware of an art therapy program, for example, or a toy lending library, various community resources we had available. So, merely listing those out on 5 by 7 index cards and actually laminating those, so during parent conferences, during a family liaison in our family liaison room, advertising those at the local laundromat, we were able to at least provide resources. Not just to the educators, who could recommend families to any one of these resources, but also providing them to families.

So again, without having to come and beg for clothing or say, “My child does not have a toy with which to play,” they can see it at the laundromat, they could see it at the hotel, and just, if they had to slip it in their pocket and read it later on. The availability of bus passes to get around the community. Now communities are offering some tokens, for example, to use, or some validation tickets to use, if you will, with Uber, with a local transportation company. So, always thinking about how do we break down every single barrier that prevents families for living the life that we want for our own children and we want for ourselves. I don’t believe that any family wakes up one day and says, “You know what, it’s a good day, we’re gonna be homeless.” Nobody wants that.

And there’s a pride involved in that, and people are homeless for a number of reasons. So, rather than figuring out a way to judge the families on those reasons, and say, “Well, I’m interested in this group, but you know what, those people had a choice,” kids don’t have a choice. Kids are born into families and into conditions that sometimes just boggle our hearts and our minds. So as educators, we have got to establish processes and procedures to just take those kids under our wings and say, “We care about you.” And most especially, we have to offer them hope, every single day, hope that life can be better for them. And then, don’t just assume that families aren’t interested in being connected to schools; sometimes they don’t know how.

Sometimes teachers don’t know how to reach out to a homeless kid, and so, it’s easier to just step back and say, “Well, maybe someone else will take care of it.” So, everything we do has to be in service to every kid, no matter the environment in which they find themselves.

 

Jason Amos:               Dr. Anderson, a similar question for you. You’ve done and are doing so much to support students experiencing homelessness. In your experiences, what are the barriers you’ve encountered, and how could those barriers be removed either through policy changes or maybe even public will?

 

Tiffany Anderson:       Well, you know, homelessness has so many components. When you look at the social determinants of health, often, families that have found themselves in situations where they’re homeless, it has to do not only with _____ but sometimes family circumstances such as mental health issues and access to healthcare. And so, the other issues, sometimes, revolves around domestic violence, which we just left the month of October in which domestic violence was an area of focus. And sometimes it’s just knowing that resources are there.

And generational poverty sometimes is really a true issue where people just expect to live in conditions that they don’t have to live in. So, as barriers are presented that fall in many of those areas, as a school district, as an educator, it’s incumbent upon us to provide resources and education in the area of domestic violence, to provide jobs. And _____ _____ districts, I view schools as the perfect place, because we’re the center of the community, to employ as many parents as you possibly can in your school system, because you’re recycling dollars and contributing to economic prosperity. So, we seek families who can be employed within our own school system.

You know, the other barriers that we encounter, which was mental health, I believe you can work around that. This year is the first year in Topeka in which we’re partnering with University of Kansas, and we opened our first _____ in Topeka High School – we’re excited about that. We have a pediatrician _____ _____ _____ at a high school that serves 1,700 students, available 24 hours a day. We did the same thing in Saint Louis, we partnered with Washington University, and again, a hospital focused at Jennings _____ High is still there today. Once again, this is through great partnership. In Topeka, we provide dental care to every student in every school [glitch interviews with audio]. We did something very similar in Saint Louis.

In Topeka, we used _____ to provide that to all of our students who have that [glitch interviews with audio]. _____ those are barriers, but we’ve been able to work around those, by really working with partners in _____ _____ as a priority of possibility. And making sure that hope is restored, by knowing that this is something that we have as a priority. [Glitch interferes with audio] Topeka, when I started, we were doing our strategic plan, and one of the elements in our strategic plan is to reduce poverty in Topeka. It’s part of our strategic plan. Our schoolboard has made this a priority, because they know that, by reducing poverty, you contribute to economic prosperity. And you ensure that education for all, which is what the Brown v Board case was about, really is education for all. So, we are excited about the momentum here in Topeka, Kansas, and in other places where this work is alive and well.

 

Jason Amos:               Deb, in your experience as assistant secretary in the Obama Administration, did you ever have interactions with homeless students?

 

Deb Delisle:                Sure. I was really humbled, and honored as well, to be visited by students who had been homeless at some point during their lifetime. Very often, these were kids who relied on the McKinney-Vento Act, for example, to move them forward, to realize what their goals may be. But I was often struck by the tenacity of these kids. So, we would have a conversation, annually, and these kids would come to visit me, and I just was struck by their tenacity, because these were kids who were finding their way. Many of them through a guidance counselor, many of them as a result of their knowledge of the McKinney-Vento Act, many of them relied, obviously, on Pell Grants.

But oftentimes, what was so sad about it is that these kids reminded me that, if they were no longer going to college classes, for example, during winter break, during the summer, these kids were still homeless. And so, somehow, we had to remove the stigma of, “Okay, you’re benefiting from any program,” whether it’s a federal program or a statewide program. We had to remove that stigma and say to people, “These kids are still, in fact, homeless, and they need structures and processes and strategies, to cope with their homelessness.” The other thing is that we have to recognize that just because students receive, for example, a Pell Grant, that doesn’t eliminate the stressors in their life. Very often, it adds to the stress.

So, if a student has to take a full load of classes, to continue to benefit from a program such as the Pell Program or any other program, they still recognize they still have to work, and many of them are working fulltime. So I would talk to students who were working 40 hours a week, sometimes 50 hours a week, and taking a full load of classes. So, these kids had to figure out the systems, too, often on their own. So I think what we really have to be cognizant of is how do we continue support structures for kids, even at the collegiate level, when they graduate from high school and perhaps they were very fortunate to have been in a district with caring counselors, and especially social workers, but they have to find that same system of support at a collegiate level, so they can continue on and just keep going, because it’s so hard for them. It’s exhausting.

I was exhausted listening to the kinds of schedules that they had. And I’ve not even gotten into the fact that these kids would put aside and say, “You know what, I can’t take care of that toothache, because I need money to eat.” So, all of those conditions still exist, and somehow we think, “Well, a 19-year-old can figure it out on their own,” they can’t: very often, they’re alone in this big process that they’re calling life.

 

Jason Amos:               Barbara, Deb mentioned the McKinney-Vento Act – it’s a chief federal support for homeless students, as you very well know. Under that and other federal laws, homeless students have several rights and opportunities. Can you describe, briefly, what some of those are?

 

Deb Delisle:                Sure. Oh, the McKinney-Vento Act has been around for 30 years, but it’s been strengthened, recently, including by ESSA. The broad mandate is for state education agencies and school districts to review and revise policies to the identification, enrollment, attendance, and success of children and youth who are experiencing homelessness. That is operationalized through a state coordinator at the State Education Agency, and also through that local school district liaison. Every school district in the country is required to designate a liaison for students who are homeless, and they have very specific responsibilities for carrying out. For example, identification, as we talked about a lot, arranging transportation, connecting to early childhood for younger children, and also, responding to the unique needs of youth who are homeless without their parents.

So the liaison is an important piece of McKinney-Vento. Another core, core piece of the McKinney-Vento Act is school stability. We know that children and youth who are homeless, who change schools frequently, fall behind in school. And that that transfer of schools is one of the key reasons why the children and youth who are homeless don’t do as well in school and don’t graduate at the same rate as their housed or even their low-income peers. So, under the McKinney-Vento Act, children and youth who are homeless have the right to stay in the same school that they were attending before they were homeless, or the last school they were enrolled in, and to get transportation to that school.

So that was the piece that Kara talked about, about not having transportation, and keeping school stable. So that school stability, when everything else in a child or youth’s life is upside-down and they’re in turmoil, to have the same teachers, the same classroom, the same environment for learning is critical. And then, the third piece is, when that’s not in a child’s best interests, when they do need to go to a new school, they need to be immediately enrolled. Even if they don’t have the paperwork that a child with stable housing has, even if they don’t have a parent to sign those papers. So, immediate enrollment, too, is a critical piece of making sure that there is not the loss of education.

And of course, enrollment, under the McKinney-Vento Act, means attending classes and participating fully in school activities. So, Kara talked about how important it was for her that she participate in music and have access to that full education. So, whether it’s sports or whether it’s something else extracurricular for homeless students, they need to be able to participate in those activities, as well.

 

Jason Amos:               You mentioned enrollment, and I think you made a really great point, earlier, about the eyes and ears, you know, the bus drivers or the afterschool teachers or sports coaches or whatever, just kind of being on the lookout of where students are going. But also in the community as well, you mentioned laundromats and libraries, where, you know, those people in the community could be more on the lookout for students or families they think might be experiencing homelessness. Any other kind of advice along those lines you would offer?

 

Deb Delisle:                I think that November being Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week, the week before Thanksgiving, is really an opportunity to just talk about the issues. So often in communities, the focus may be on people who are visibly homeless, who are vulnerable, and who need our help. But those who are invisibly homeless are equally vulnerable, and are next in line to be visibly homeless, if we don’t intervene. So, for example, I think schools have been more involved in community conversations around homelessness, the Hope House, as Dr. Anderson talked about, other initiatives where school leaders are taking the issues of children, youth, and families, and bringing them into the community, as well.

So, clearly, there’s a lot that can be done in partnership, but I think it’s often going to be the schools who are, again, seeing the invisibly homeless children, youth, and families, and to talk about that broadly, so that the school can leverage those supports from the community and from elected officials.

 

Jason Amos:               Thank you.

We spend a lot of time talking about kind of the K-12 world for students. I wanna move a little bit beyond that, to the transition from high school on to postsecondary. Earlier, you know, Deb talked about some of the challenges facing older students who may have finished high school, you know, being a 19-year-old with a toothache, and trying to decide between, you know, paying for books or paying to go see the dentist. Barbara, what are some ways that you think high schools, in particular, can work with students who are homeless in high school, and help them apply and succeed in college? And then, Kara, I wanna get your thoughts, here in just a minute, as well.

 

Barbara Duffield:       I think, number one, assume that they can and have the ability to go to college, so, setting expectations. The minute a student is identified as experiencing homelessness, helping them, for example, take the right courses, so they’ll be ready to go to college. Making sure that counselors know the other needs that they may have. There’s a liaison in Florida who has set up what she called a McKinney-Vento Opportunity Tour, where they actually take students who are identified as McKinney-Vento to a local college, so they can actually see it, and have professors talk to them, and know that college can be a possibility for them, if that’s what they choose to do. So, part of that readiness college access programs, to make sure homeless youth have access to all of those things, so that they can be prepared and be supported in that transition.

I think another really important piece is helping them know that they can apply for financial aid. And for students who are homeless and on their own or unaccompanied homeless youth, they are considered independent students on the FAFSA, but they may not know that. So, having that support, you know, McKinney-Vento liaisons are now required to tell youth who are homeless and unaccompanied that they are independent students on the FAFSA. But helping them figure that out, that whole college-going process and financial aid process, which is challenging for any young person, but especially if you’re experiencing homelessness and you don’t have parents in your life.

So, and then I’d say the third thing is just establishing the relationship with institutions of higher education in the community, so that there can be a warm handoff between high school and postsecondary institutions. And that youth who are experiencing homelessness have support that they need, even if it’s, you know, the right size sheets, or the care basket, or someone to go with them for orientation, all of those things, to make sure that that process and that transition into postsecondary is smooth and seamless, and that the young person feels supported in their endeavors.

 

Jason Amos:               _____ great points.

Kara, let me get to you on your thoughts, anything you’d like to add from what Barbara said about the transition from high school to college, and how it might be especially difficult from a student experiencing homelessness?

 

Kara Freise:               Yeah, and I just wanna kind of apologize if I’m getting emotional, but my transition was so painful and difficult that, even though I’m in graduate school, thinking back to my first year at my undergraduate institution is so upsetting. But, so, the first difficulty I faced was I wasn’t identified as homeless until I was 17 years old, in my senior year of high school. And I wasn’t identified until May, a few weeks before I was graduating. So, I never even met with my McKinney-Vento liaison, and I think the mindset there was, “Well, there are other students that can benefit more, like, you’re aging out, there’s nothing really we can do for you.” I did not know how to apply for financial aid.

I didn’t know about the Excelsior Scholarship, although it wasn’t – Excelsior didn’t start until my second year of college, but that’s something that a student should know about. I didn’t know how to prove residency if I didn’t have an address, to get in-state tuition rates. I selected for additional verification on my FAFSA, and I could not verify with my university that I was an independent student. On the FAFSA, I indicated that I had experienced homelessness, but my university wanted three separate sources that verified that. And having not been identified until I was about to graduate, I didn’t have three sources to verify my situation. So, I went almost my entire freshman year without financial aid, because I was selected for verification for FAFSA, but I wasn’t in contact with my parents, so I couldn’t get their tax information.

And I couldn’t prove that I was independent, so I [glitch interviews with audio]. And then, as I was working on building up documents and getting proof that I was independent, there were late fees being added on to every month that my tuition wasn’t paid. So by the time my financial aid did come through, I couldn’t afford to pay the late fees. And it came to a point where the semester – the break in-between the fall and spring semester, that I had about $600.00 _____ _____ late fees. And I didn’t have it. I was 17 years old, I had just started a minimum wage part-time job, on top of _____ class fulltime, and I had no savings in my bank account.

There were weeks that I couldn’t afford food or sanity products, so I would have to miss class if I was, like, menstruating. So I didn’t have $600.00 to pay the late fees. And the university I was at does have a form where you can apply to have the late fees waived, but they said I didn’t show good faith in trying to pay my bill up to that point, so they couldn’t waive the fees. So at that point, in December, I had to choose between paying off the $600.00 in late fees or _____ _____ _____ because the freshman dorms close in that month between semesters. So I had all the expense of having nowhere to stay, for that month of January, I paid off the late fees, and what I had to do was couch-surf, until the dorms opened again for the spring.

So, that lack of verification, that lack of access, there wasn’t anyone at my school who knew how to handle homelessness. My RA knew I was homeless, but the dorms closed for the winter break and she didn’t know what to do with me. So, I ended up being in a lot of danger, in that month in-between semesters, because I had to choose between paying for a place to stay or paying my late fees off so I could come back in the spring.

 

Jason Amos:               That amazing, Kara – I don’t know how to react – I mean, just – just, credit to you – I’m getting a little emotional myself – for overcoming so many challenges and just – just where you are now. I mean, I’m so proud of you, and I don’t know if that means anything or not, but I hope that others are, too. Because that’s just a tremendous story, and I just thank you for sharing that with our audience. I know that had to have been just a tremendously difficult time for you, and reliving it, I just thank you for sharing that.

I do wanna move to the future and positive progression forward. You’re studying minority stress theory, and resilience and protective factors for at-risk youth, and I think just a tremendous life experience that you bring to that, and how you can become such a tremendous advocate for students who have gone through what you go through. So I just applaud you for that choice. Do you have any advice for students who may be experiencing homelessness, or trying to deal with the trauma associated with it?

 

Kara Freise:               Absolutely. One piece of advice that I have, which is difficult to follow through on, is be an advocate for yourself. If one person tells you no when you ask for accommodations, go to their boss. If your health insurance says you can’t access a counselor, like, get on the phone and see what _____ _____ you can get. So, I know, personally, how exhausting it is to fight with the system when you’re already stressed out about day-to-day mundane life activities, but being able to advocate for yourself can go a really long way. And unfortunately, sometimes, you’re the only voice you have. Oftentimes, homeless students that are in college don’t have _____ _____ in their corner, so be an advocate for yourself.

And also, I think, be compassionate with yourself. When I first started college, my thought process was, “Okay, I have a roof over my head now, I have a bed now – why do I feel so terrible?” And oftentimes, you don’t get to process a lot of those painful feelings and that trauma until you are safe. And so, you might think to yourself, “Why do I feel so bad? I don’t have any right to feel bad right now. I’m safe now.” But physiologically, your body can’t process all that trauma until you are physically safe and your bottom tier needs are met. So, just being compassionate and understanding with the fact that, yes, you might be physically safe, but your body hasn’t caught up to that, yet.

Like, that’s a very valid reaction, and that’s really difficult. And then, I know counseling and access to doctors and everything can be really difficult, but counseling has helped me a lot, especially group counseling. For myself, I have found it very healing to connect with others that share my experiences. You can feel very alone, especially when you’re at an academic institution where the majority of students aren’t first-generation even, nobody knows you’re homeless. But the statistics show that about 17 percent of students in college are homeless, so I can guarantee you there are peer support groups you might be able to find. And in my experience, having people who share my experiences was so validating and such a big factor in my own healing.

 

Jason Amos:               Thank you, Kara. You mentioned counseling, and we mentioned, earlier, that you’re currently pursuing a master’s degree in psychological counseling. What would you like to do after you finish your education?

 

Kara Freise:               So, currently, my plan is to continue on after my master’s degree and pursue a Ph.D. in counseling. I would really like to find a Ph.D. program that also has a focus in policy and program evaluation, because I really wanna be a factor in improving these programs and policies, and synthesizing my personal experiences and the research. Because I think, having experienced these issues myself personally, I bring a much different perspective into the room when I’m doing research, especially with at-risk youth. I find that with – I’ve worked with teenagers who have similar experiences, and I connect so much more deeply with them, when I disclose, at an appropriate level, that I’ve been through some really difficult things, too.

So, my hope is to continue on, get a patient in counseling, and find a program that would allow me to be the advocate and be involved in larger systemic change. _____ also _____ working [glitch interviews with audio] interacting directly with youth. I thought about pursuing _____ _____ counseling, but what I really wanna do is work with children who have experienced trauma. And as many educators know, like, your school counselors are swamped, you don’t get as much individual time as you would like. So, my interest is to become a counselor who specializes in working with adolescents and children, and then possibly contracting with schools to provide services into the schools, so students could access me.

 

Jason Amos:               Yeah, you mentioned wanting to be a factor, and I certainly that that’s going to be the case, no matter what you do. And I just, again, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and your advice with our audience today.

And I also wanna thank Barbara and Deb and Dr. Anderson for their insights, and you, our viewers, for joining us, today. If you missed any of today’s webinar, you can access archived video on demand, at all4ed.org/webinars.

Thanks for watching. Have a great day.

[Music playing]

 

[End of Audio]

Categories: Brown vs. Board
thumbnail

Action Academy

Welcome to the Alliance for Excellent Education’s Action Academy, an online learning community of education advocates. We invite you to create an account, expand your knowledge on the most pressing issues in education, and communicate with others who share your interests in education reform.

Register Now

or register for Action Academy below:


Join the Conversation

Your email is never published nor shared.

What is this?
Multiply 5 by 6 =
The simple math problem you are being asked to solve is necessary to help block spam submissions.

Close

 

Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.