A Message From Kayamanan
Senior at Open School East
“I like to think of this school as my getaway from at-home problems.”
When we think about how a high schooler might feel about going to school each day, the idea of it being a getaway is likely not what comes to mind. The sentiment expressed above by Kayamanan (she/they), a senior at Open School East, is powerful. Kayamanan’s feelings about school point to the intense stressors many of our students face in their personal lives, as well as the positive environment Open School East provides among the struggles.
In their ninth and tenth grade years, Kayamanan was constantly “bouncing around and moving houses a lot.” They explain how “there have been times where I needed housing support or clothes on my back or something to eat. Stuff like that really matters if I didn’t know where else to go or who else to go to.”
At the time, Kayamanan didn’t think she would be able to graduate. She couldn’t go to school because she was constantly finding a new place to stay or had to stay in Washington and couldn’t get transportation. Our staff helped Kayamanan connect with resources and get back on track to graduate. She shares that two years later and “with enough support from my teachers, I’m pretty much up there where I need to be to graduate on time.”
How did Kayamanan get back on track to graduate?
“Here it’s more hands-on. The teachers really take the time to understand how each one of the students’ brains work because everybody functions differently and learns differently. The fact that they have so much patience to just wait for us until we figure it out.”
What’s next for Kayamanan after graduation?
“I probably want to go to PCC and become a nurse practitioner or something in the medical field. I really like helping people.”
Open School East’s response to Kayamanan’s housing insecurity demonstrates the reasons why our students succeed. We see the whole person behind the student and act accordingly. Make sure that students have a place to go when they need support. Donate to Open School today!