Survivor Story: Finn’s Path to Belonging at SAFE’s Charter School

Written by SAFE

Finn* joined SAFE with only a few weeks left in the school year. They stayed in the emergency shelter. Before this, they had a tough time at another school. This made them worried about starting over somewhere new. Especially with so little time left in the school term. Finn was quiet and shy. They didn’t really trust the teachers or other students. They were also the youngest and the only middle schooler.

The teachers and staff worked hard to make everyone feel welcome. They made sure to use the right pronouns for each student. This small thing made Finn feel better about themselves. As the school term went on, Finn started to see that the teachers cared about them. This made them feel safe and important. It helped them come out of their shell bit by bit. Finn started making friends with the other kids. They felt more comfortable talking and doing things together. The way the teachers treated them made a big difference. They saw that the teachers were friendly, open, and willing to listen. Finn also noticed that the teachers really cared about how they were doing in school. They wanted them to succeed. This made Finn feel good. They started talking more with the teachers about their schoolwork and things they liked.

By the end of the school term, Finn had found their place in the school. They even started joking and laughing with the teachers. This change from being quiet and shy to being more outgoing and happy was really amazing. The school helped by being a nice and supportive place. The teachers being kind and respectful played a big part too. Because of this, Finn did better in school and felt more hopeful about themselves.

The important things in this story are being nice and trusting. Also, to include everyone no matter what. This story shows how important it is to have schools where everyone treats each other with respect and supports each other. This helps students like Finn feel welcome and make friends. It also shows that when teachers care and the school is a good place, it can help students thrive. It helps them do better in school and believe in themselves. Right now, Finn is still at SAFE. They didn’t go to school over the summer. But they visit the school team once or twice a week to say hello. We’re excited to keep helping Finn when school starts again in Fall 2023.

*Name is changed to protect identity.