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We believe that families, rather than schools,  are the agents of change to create a more relevant, equitable education system and that we will see learners and families lives radically transformed if we organize supports and resources around them. Over the years, we’ve seen families utilize these tools, and feel more empowered not only to navigate the education landscape for themselves, but to push on the system in important ways. 

Here are just a few of our favorite stories.

Malena

When Malena first met her Advocate, she needed to secure special education services for one of her two sons. She felt overwhelmed and unprepared to navigate the education system and advocate for her son. Two years later, Malena is navigating meetings fully aware of both her and her son’s rights, has an understanding of the curriculum, an ability to clearly communicate her goals for her son and knows what her role is in the process.

Malena’s Advocate also connected her with the Stanley Marketplace, a community hub where she and the boys can meet other people in the community and explore new experiences.The boys loved going to the MakerSpace camp where they learned to work with a 3-D printer. The kids have also attended camp two years in a row at Avid4Adventure and The Art Garage, utilizing scholarship money ReSchool has raised, and discounts Malena applied for through the programs.

Malena has since soared with confidence as a parent and in her ability to network a system to get what she needs for her children inside and outside of school. She has begun to share her experience, recommendations, tips and tricks on accessing outside learning opportunities with her friends, family and colleagues. She has become an advocate herself, enhancing the lives of other children through her relationships and sharing of knowledge. which helped make transparent all the steps he’d need to take to pursue a career as a game designer. Together, they researched colleges with strong computer science programs, but with scholarships available to lower the cost.

Alejandro

Alejandro is a father of three. When he joined ReSchool’s LAN, Alejandro had a sense that his oldest son wasdoing okay in school but like many parents, Alejandro worried the 9-year-old was spending too much time on devices and not enough time on activities. As Alejandro told his advocate earlyon, “I live in a bubble. My whole world takes place in the few miles between home and work.”

Since his wife Juana stays at home to care for their young baby, Alejandro is the sole provider in the family. He was disappointed after being denied a promotion based on his lack of English skills, and in his frustration, wondered whether he should quit to find a new job with higher pay. After talking through the implications of that choice with his advocate, Alejandro decided to enroll in English classes two nights a week after work to improve his skills.

Alejandro began taking steps to expand his bubble by seeking new resources and asking questions at school. He navigated the complicated parks and recreation scholarship system to sign his kids up for swim lessons; they enjoyed it so much, they continued for three more sessions. Alejandro’s agency as a parent grew – and along with it, a growing world of possibilities for his kids.

Alejandro and Juana purchased a home in their neighborhood after taking a Spanish-language first-time homeowners course together. They carefully selected an elementary school for their 5-year-old daughter to attend kindergarten. Their older kids will go to camp for the first time this summer to stay active and engaged in learning. With newfound confidence and a sense of how to influence his life, Alejandro used those same skills at work to become a better employee, which qualified him for a pay differential. The impact of an advocate can be seen throughout the whole family. 

Zuri

Amadi is a high school senior and first generation American. His mom, Zuri, immigrated from Ethiopia with an elementary education. She signed up for the support of an Advocate at work because the college process confused her and she wanted to be sure Amadi was on the right track with college applications.

Amadi is deeply passionate about game design, and while he intended to go to college all along, he’d never met with a college counselor and the financial aid deadlines were quickly approaching.

His Advocate connected Amadi with a tool called Couragion which helped make transparent all the steps he’d need to take to pursue a career as a game designer. Together, they researched colleges with strong computer science programs, but with scholarships available to lower the cost.

Amadi is now a sophomore at University of Colorado- Colorado Springs. He had a wonderful freshman year and is excited for his future in Game Design. His Advocate is working with him to find an internship for Summer 2020 and to gain first-hand experience in the field. His post-secondary experience is aligned with his skills and interests.

“I’ll be watching how new approaches beyond the traditional system, like RESCHOOL Colorado, can offer lessons around the governance implications of public-private out-of-school learning models. These new approaches may just offer the chance to truly reinvent governance and accountability from the ground up.”

Julia Freeland Fisher, Christensen Institute