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For confidentiality reasons, we will refer to this fifth-grade student as "Student A."  "Student A" struggles tremendously in school, both academically and emotionally.  He has been given the diagnosis of Emotionally Disturbed by the district and has a history of angry outbursts, having been a danger to himself and others.  I have been seeing him for almost a year now, and during that time he has grown in tremendous ways.

With the exception of one incident at the end of the school year triggered by the anxiety of his upcoming move to middle school, he has not had an uncontrollable nor dangerous outburst since last December. 

This great progress is mostly due to his pursuit in rapping.  He has used the therapeutic space and our relationship to explore his thoughts and feelings through the art form of rap.  We find a beat, he improvises, I record it, and then I burn him a CD to take home and share with his family.  He has grown very proud of his raps and has been able to tackle subjects through the music that he has great difficulty speaking directly about, such as family death, neighborhood violence, his love for his family, and his love for his school.  He even wrote and performed a rap for his class play, an activity he had not been able to be a part of in past years.

  • Since I've been blessed with the chance to have a good education and many opportunities, I feel obligated to give back and to use the education and the experiences I've had to make an impact.

    Chris McCoy
    AmeriCorps VISTA
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    Kevin Lacy
    Before & After School Site Coordinator - San Francisco
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    Mary Jane Landolina
    School Counselor - Tamalpais High School, Marin County
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    Office Coordinator - Marin County DUI Program
  • I know that, if I am able to overcome hard struggles in my life and do my best at achieving success, I can encourage the young people that I advocate to do their best as well.

    Court Advocate

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