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Rahkyilah: A rough start to real responsibility

Rahkyilah comes from a large family. As the oldest girl, she takes care of her younger brothers and sisters, handle chores and keep up with her student responsibilities. She has had a rough start and understands her family lives in poverty, leading her to behave defensively and sometimes feel the need to fight to stand her ground.

When she began in the program, she received numerous referrals and in-school suspensions. She got into arguments or fights with others she thought were making fun of or discriminating against her, leading to a negative image by other students and staff.

Over time, Family & School Services (FSS) staff has worked deliberately with her to manage and control her demeanor, reactions and responses. This year she will graduate eighth grade and has a much-improved outlook on life.

She has been an integral part of the Healthy Families program, and has volunteered time every Tuesday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to serve students and their families Healthy Families Dinners.

Rahkyilah is working on her professionalism and leadership skills and has improved significantly since sixth grader. She plans to participate in the FSS summer program to help and facilitate lesson plans for her younger peers.

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