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Resiliency brings new relationships

Becoming a BHGH scholar is an amazing accomplishment, yet it comes with high expectations and hard work. Each incoming class of sixth graders is attending a new and challenging school, increased homework plus BHGH programming. This can be a bit overwhelming for them, but BHGH staff is with them and their families for every new challenge they face.

Now imagine that you are facing all of these new challenges that come with being a BHGH scholar and then everything is turned upside down with the onset of COVID. Schools closed and moved to online learning, after school activities were cancelled and all social interactions were halted outside of your nuclear family. BHGH staff quickly moved to make sure scholars had internet, school supplies and they increased the scholar and family check-ins to make sure scholars were focused and on track.

Still some scholars were struggling with this new reality.

Yareli, a new sixth grader, was really struggling with being online all the time. BHGH was new and her rigorous Jesuit middle school was new. She is a very social person who was now stuck at home attending school on the computer, homework on the computer, after school activities and clubs on the computer.

Celina, BHGH collegian and Dorrance Scholar, needed a large amount of community service hours for her scholarship, yet it was tough because of the lack of volunteer opportunities available during the pandemic.

We matched Celina up with Yareli as a study buddy and let her know that she really just needed someone to talk to. Celina had benefitted from a strong mentor from the community when she was a younger scholar and wanted to give back to new scholars. Yareli’s grades went up, she was happier, and she persisted through the program and is now doing well as a 7th grader!

This relationship was such a success, we matched all sixth graders with collegians this year. We saw deep relationships being formed that benefitted not only for the sixth grader, but the collegians as well!

It is an invaluable benefit for younger scholars to connect with older scholars who share how they have learned and utilized resiliency skills to persevere through some of the same challenges.