Angel, a seventh grader at a Los Angeles middle school, had been “jumped” into a gang and was getting into trouble. Through Diplomas Now, he joined a boys’ motivational group and talked to ex-gang members froma local community-based organization about handling peer pressure, avoiding gangs and setting goals. Today, Angel has come a long way. He has learned to navigate social settings, has assumed leadership roles at school, is doing much better academically and aspires to be a good example for his younger siblings.
Seventh grader Benjamin first came to the attention of Diplomas Now through the biweekly meetings that identify struggling students early. He was having a hard time because his mom didn’t live with him and he was attending a new school. Bullies picked on him. A Diplomas Now “near peer” coach noticed that Benjamin was cutting himself. The boy was provided with one-on-one counseling, tutoring and mentoring. He participated in events and field trips and was chosen to be a part of a young heroes program. By the end of sixth grade, Benjamin was much more confident, had assumed leadership roles and was improving his grades. He no longer cuts himself.