Recent Success Stories
FITTING IN = GOOD GRADES
Lochburn Middle School, Lakewood
A seventh grade student struggled with a visible birth defect which kept her from coming to school for fear of being teased. The school nurse worked with the student’s family and a local hospital to acquire medical help for the student. While the student was very excited for her treatment and the huge impact it would have on her life; she was still self-conscious when she returned to school. She confided in the secretary about her family’s financial problems and her attempts with trying to fit in with other students. She disliked the attention that was paid to her birth defect and the treatment she received. Together, the student and the secretary came up with a plan that involved purchasing clothing which helped conceal her treatment. InvestED funds were used to purchase clothing, which in turn helped boost her self-esteem. As a result, the student starting attending classes regularly causing her grades to improved dramatically.
WHEN ALL SEEMED HOPELESS
McLoughlin Middle School, Vancouver
New to the country, having an ailing mother at home, learning English, acclimating to the culture, and maintaining great attendance in school was an inspirational feat for this young man. Wanting to play football and basketball he needed the funds to participate in these sports. With the help of InvestED he was able to play sports and secure transportation. Playing football and basketball, he persevered as his mother continued to worsen in health. He moved in with his extended family and was placed into a supportive, smaller environment for school while he dealt with the trauma. Still staying connected and playing sports for school, he will be returning in the fall to continue his amazing journey. With support, he may be the first one to complete high school in his family and go on to show others around him what it means to truly overcome all odds when it may have seemed hopeless.
A WAY TO SCHOOL
Garrison Middle School, Walla Walla
It's shocking that in the land of plenty we would have a student living in a car with his father. This was just the case with a student who attended our school. Each night they parked their car in a different location in town to avoid tickets. Instead of driving his son to school, the father asked him to walk each morning to school in order to save gas. Sometimes the distance was just to far to get to school on time so he would either skip school or arrive very late. Because of this situation he began to suffer academically and considered quitting school. With the help of InvestED our counselors were able to provide this student with clean clothing, an alarm clock, and a city bus pass so he could get to school on time. His attendance improved along with his attitude and with the renewed self esteem there is now hope for this student.
ADOPTED BY HIS SCHOOL FAMILY
Harbor Ridge Middle School, Gig Harbor
Every year around the holidays, funds from InvestED are used to purchase school sweatshirts for a few low income students. Students and staff wear either their school colors or sports team sweatshirts with the school logo on them on Fridays. This year the staff was surprised when one of the students wore his sweatshirt to school five days in one week. Before he had his sweatshirt, the student was surly, with a tendency towards being a bully. Afterwards, he walked around school with a smile on his face most days, gave high-fives to people, and started staying after school to help with the school’s drama production. It was as though he had been transformed - like he had just been adopted by the family, his “school family.” Staff had never seen anything quite like it and resolved to identify more kids next year who might not have that feeling of connection and belonging at school
HOLIDAY SALES BRING CONFIDENCE
Centennial Middle School, Snohomish
Last winter, a few of our teachers opened their hearts to a needy student. They took her shopping before winter break to purchase appropriate clothing and shoes for her. By shopping during the holiday sales, they were able to purchase over $450 worth of clothing and shoes for just $200. InvestED and our school’s PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) each donated $100 to this rewarding act. It made such a difference in this student’s confidence.
FAMILY LOSES EVERYTHING IN FIRE
Highland Junior High, Cowiche
One of our eighth grade girls went home one day to find her house completely burned to the ground. This family didn't have much to start with - no running water or electricity. With the father choosing to live in a remote area they had to haul their water in weekly and their electrical needs were powered by a gas generator. With help from our community, assistance was given to this student and her family. InvestED provided her with clothing, which she especially appreciated. She said that after the devastating fire, that took everything her family owned, she didn't want to come to school because she didn't have anything to wear. With the kindness from our community including help from InvestED, this student attended school for the rest of the year holding her head high with pride.
NO ONE KNEW
Indian Heritage Middle College, Seattle
He came to school every day with a positive attitude, on time, fresh faced and ready to learn. He never complained about anything. Only when he asked for super glue did a teacher realize this student was trying to repair the soles of his worn out shoes and, only when he seemed overly anxious to take leftover lunches did the teacher realize he was especially hungry. After gentle coaxing by a trusted teacher, he revealed he'd been couch-surfing the last couple months, temporarily relying on the generosity of a close friend's family for food and shelter. Homeless after his single parent moved out of town, he still wanted to finish the school year and then continue in summer sports turnout, looking forward to Fall football. When asked to move out of his friend's home, as summer approached, teachers advocated for him and helped secure another temporary housing placement. With the help of InvestED, shoes, clothing, and personal items were purchased for this student. He graciously accepted the help, proudly wore his well stocked backpack and because of InvestED he looks forward to continuing in school where he feels cared for, safe and secure. Now this student is not just another student but a happy student with hope for a better life.
GRADUATION: FOR GRANDMA
Franklin High School, Seattle
There was a young lady who was brought up by grandma because her mother never cared to participate in her life and her father was incarcerated most of her life. Near the end of her senior year she tragically lost her grandmother. She made the decision to quit school and the school sports team in order to work to support her mother. Many staff members rallied to encourage and supported this young lady to return to school and rejoin the team. They managed to convince her to return and she did with a passion. She had three classes to pass for graduation but, due to her absence after her grandmother passed, the future of graduation looked dim. She charged ahead, put all her effort into completion and finished all three classes with passing grades. Her family promised her that if she graduated that they would pay for her cap and gown but that promise fell through. Like a light of hope, InvestED provided her graduation cap and gown and National Achievers provided her with the necessary graduation announcements and clothing to acknowledge her accomplishments. With the spirit of her beloved grandmother by her side this student became a true champion, a true survivor, and a student who will work to accomplish anything she faces in her future because of the kindness of her grandmother, InvestED and the National Achievers.
AN EVENT SHE ALMOST DIDN’T ATTEND
Madrona K-8, Seattle
An eighth grade girl told me this year that she wasn't coming to the graduation because her family couldn’t afford to buy new clothes. She knew that all of the children would be dressed in new clothes at graduation and she felt out of place because all she owned was old and worn out. I asked, “If the school helped, could you go?” She said, “Yes, and her mom would be very grateful.” With her mom's approval, I took the student to the mall, which was a new experience for her. The look in her eyes when she found the perfect dress was incredible but nothing compares to how she looked at graduation. With her new hairdo, dress and shoes she was absolutely glowing with pride. Without InvestED this student would not have attended graduation and experienced the fulfillment of that day. I know that this student will feel good about herself as she enters high school because she was able to participate in her eighth grade graduation, an event she almost didn’t attend.
SENSE OF DIGNITY AND HOPE
Sequoyah Middle School, Auburn
One student had financial challenges and was unable to pay all of the required school activity fees. Yet, this student desired to play an instrument and participate in sports. All of the activities had fees involved. InvestED covered the school planner, printing, and other required school fees. He also applied for and won scholarships for both teams and was thrilled to be an athlete along with his classmates! His desire to play an instrument and participate in sports would not have been possible without the InvestED funds covering his basic fees and allowing him to surmount the first hurdle. InvestED is an equalizer for those in need. In this case, not only did InvestED funds provide the necessary tools and expenses to help this student function as normally as possible, but the fund provided him a sense of dignity and hope.
CAP AND GOWN FOR GRADUATION
Connell High School, Connell
We had a senior student working in our office as an office aide. As graduation approached, we discovered he was homeless. Though different family and community members had provided him with a place to stay during the school year, he didn’t feel comfortable asking them to help him pay for the extra expenses that graduation requires. So he was planning not to walk at graduation, because he couldn’t afford the cost of the cap and gown. With your help, we purchased his cap and gown. He was so proud to be able to participate in the graduation ceremony, and so thankful of InvestED’s support. He’s always been a model citizen at our school, and our staff selected him to receive a coveted award, presented at graduation each year. Thanks to InvestED, his high-school graduation will always be a great memory for him.
OPPORTUNITY TO DO AMAZING THINGS IN SCHOOL
Park Place Middle School, Monroe
One of our students had to flee an unsafe home situation because of her drug addicted mother. This student along with her brother and sisters moved away from their mother to be with their dad, but they were homeless and living from day to day. Helping this family with funds from InvestED to pay for PE uniforms and class fees helped alleviate some of their shame and turmoil so that their lives could have a little normalcy. InvestED provides an opportunity to many students and gives them hope, some happiness and a renewed belief that all students have the opportunity to do amazing things in school.
DREAMS CAN COME TRUE
McKnight Middle School, Renton
An eighth grade student this year faced having to drop orchestra, her favorite class, because her family lacked the funds for the required instrument rental fee. The student’s mother lost her second job and was unable to support this rental fee as she had in previous years. Our eighth grade counselor brought the situation to our InvestED coordinator who used InvestED funds to pay the fee. Although the student sometimes struggles in other subjects she received an A in Orchestra this year. This grateful student expressed that playing the violin was a major motivation in maintaining her positive attitude towards school and it also motivated her to improve her grades in other classes. This student is now looking forward to playing violin in the high school orchestra, fulfilling her dreams.