Who We Are

Carlos' Story

Carlos’ Story

carlos and priscilla
Carlos with AFC staff attorney Priscilla Monico, September 2015.

Carlos is a 16-year-old immigrant student from Guatemala who came to the U.S. on his own earlier this year due to dire poverty in his home country. He has since been staying with extended family in the Bronx, and was referred to AFC by a social worker at The Legal Aid Society. Carlos last attended school at age 11; because his family could not afford the school fees in Guatemala, he began working to help support his family at the end of 6th grade. After arriving in the Bronx, Carlos twice attempted to enroll in school, but was rebuffed both times. He was first turned away at the enrollment center because his aunt did not have any form of ID, and on his return visit with his uncle, he was unable to register due to lack of custodial paperwork.

AFC intervened and asserted Carlos’ right, as an unaccompanied minor living doubled-up with family, to immediate enrollment under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act. We also secured Carlos’ placement at Manhattan International High School, a school that serves recently arrived immigrant youth, where he will be able to learn English from experienced teachers and be with peers who have similar life experiences. AFC accompanied Carlos to the enrollment center to ensure he was able to enroll in time for the first day of school, and we are happy to report that he has successfully started 9th grade!