“Tommy” was a bright child whose light suddenly faltered. He was a highly intelligent and creative sixth grade student who had been attending our Safe Youth Project. But in a life-shattering event, Tommy’s mother left him, and he and his father were alone.
Tommy felt abandoned. He lost the ability to trust others. His school work suffered, and he rarely participated in physical activities in the program. He comforted himself by eating and playing video games, and his self-esteem was suffering. Luckily, a caring and observant staff noticed Tommy’s difficulties, and began to provide positive support and attention to help him change his story.
Our staff found a way to channel Tommy’s tenacity and positive interest in video games into school efforts by creating a real-life game, in which assignments and tests were chances to gain levels and win rewards. In playing this schoolwork “game,” Tommy improved his grades and his self-esteem, and began to open up again.