Shaw House’s On-Site School Program provides an alternative education program that assists homeless youth that may have dropped out of school due to their homeless situation, or have not succeeded in traditional school settings. The Carleton Project, our on-site school program, assists youth in completing their education and gaining a High School Diploma.
This youth was referred to the school by a clinician at Community Care who provides clinical services at Shaw House. It was explained that the student had not been finding success at their local high school. As a transgender youth, he was the target of bullying and experienced social anxiety due to his family life and peer interactions. His home life was very uncomfortable for him as his parents struggled with his transition process. His father worked hard to support him but struggled with his relationship to my student’s mother who had substance abuse and mental health issues that affected the entire family.
This young man ended up coming to stay with us in the shelter and then moved into the transitional living program. He starting working with clinicians, behavioral health specialists, and his doctor to transition. He began a testosterone treatment program and has adjusted well. Students at our school do not hesitate to use appropriate pronouns when addressing him. He became a leader in the classroom environment.
Over the two years I have worked with this student he has grown into a very intelligent young man. He is signed up to take an aspirations class through the University of Maine at Augusta in the fall. He will complete a college level psychology class while attending his senior year with us here. We are reviewing potential colleges for next fall and he is excited to see that his credit requirements to graduate are coming close to the state guidelines for a high school diploma.
This fall he looks forward to finding employment to fulfill his 200 hours of work experience credit, while taking a college class and finishing up what little remains of his English Portfolio. We are very proud of this young person for his hard work and resilience in overcoming so much adversity.