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Ruben’s Story

Ruben was referred to Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) in his second year in high school when his guidance counselor declared that success at school was “unattainable for Ruben,” although he was attending regularly and staying out of trouble.

AFC got Ruben a full evaluation, which confirmed that he would be better served, and could indeed thrive, in a high school program that included vocational training as well as special education support.  When the DOE failed to offer Ruben a placement, AFC moved forward and secured Ruben a spot in a high school with an excellent program. AFC’s work did not stop there, however; we continued to support Ruben and his family until he finished his coursework by providing appropriate counseling and other advocacy to ensure that Ruben was successful and that he graduated.

Throughout his three years at his new school, Ruben was a leader: he routinely volunteered to help out around the school; was a mentor and friend to new students; and responded positively to feedback from his teachers and counselors. He completed several internships, including tours at a veterinary clinic and a retirement home. His self-confidence increased as he worked steadily on acquiring the skills he needed to live independently and to one day enter the workforce.

Thanks to AFC’s help and guidance, as well as Ruben’s efforts, the young man for whom educational success was deemed “unattainable” will be able to be an active contributing member of the work force!  With his high school degree in hand, Ruben hopes to capitalize on his keen interest in the culinary arts and to pursue a culinary program.