Every spring, scores of high school seniors come down with Senioritis – the fabled illness in which a senior can sense that graduation is just around the corner and therefore, start slacking on their academic progress.
However, this isn’t always the case and sometimes, apathy and detachment might indicate a much more profound issue.
18-year-old Markos wasn’t completing his assignments, he skipped exams and as a result, his academic progress plummeted. Concerned about his behavior, his guidance counselor referred Markos to Community Partners’ Crossroads program.
Dedicated to serving adolescents and young adult with mental illness, Crossroads uses a comprehensive approach and engaged the family in treatment as well as focusing on a highly individualized approach.
Markos processed his depression, lack of motivation and anxiety with his therapist and at the end of the year, his teachers reported that his social skills had vastly improved and he was engaging in class again.
Things were looking up until Markos was informed that due to unpaid band fees, he might not be able to graduate.
Knowing that his mother might not be able to come up with the money, Markos was devastated. He had worked so hard to catch up and now, he wouldn’t even get to walk at his own graduation.
Not wanting all of his hard work to be for naught, Markos’ therapist Amanda reached out to Community Partners’ case manager Kara and together, they took on the task of helping Markos.
“We met with Markos and his mother at least once a month so we could provide a team approach,” said his therapist, Amanda. “Then, Kara and I would meet weekly to discuss Markos and develop plans in how to move forward.”
Kara also utilized the full breadth of her resources and secured funding to pay Markos’ fees.
“I advocated for him, saying how the money would be used to help him graduate,” Kara said. “Once I settled his fees with his band teacher, I let him know that everything was taken care of and he and his mother were so thankful!”
With the weight of this financial obligation off his shoulders, Markos was able to focus on his studies.
At the beginning of the year, Markos’ academic life was on a downward trajectory and graduation seemed like a hazy mirage.
Mere months later and with help of his family, his teachers, his therapists and his case managers, Markos passed his final exams – a feat he had believed to be impossible at the beginning of his senior year.
Weeks later on a warm, sunny day in May, Markos strolled across the stage – diploma in hand – to the deafening roars of his family and friends.
Changing the Odds was a journey for Markos and with a diploma in hand; there is no limit to how far he will go.