Meet Francisco: A Jen School Success Story

Jen_School-logoSince our founding in 1883, Maryville has been rebuilding and transforming the lives of children in need. Each and every day, we are dedicated to preserving the dignity and well-being of all the children and families we serve. This is our mission, which your gift makes possible. We would like to share the story of one single child among the thousands Maryville has helped. Francisco, now 17, came to us several years ago, while still in junior high. He had been struggling with learning and emotional issues all his life.

School was nearly impossible for Francisco; it was a daily reminder that he was different—not good enough, not able to keep up. Anger and anxiety fueled his behavior, causing Francisco to act out in the classroom and at home. He was on a downward spiral. Through the intervention of his family, Francisco was enrolled at our Maryville Jen School. “When he came to us, he was discouraged, frustrated and non-communicative,” said Educational Services Director Ann Craig. “However, the Jen School’s small class structure and individualized attention were able to transform Francisco. He began to develop social skills and learned how to deal with peer relationships.” Today, after several years of study at the Jen School, with teachers and counselors who believed in him, Francisco is back in vocational training classes at his local high school. He is on track to graduate early and plans to become a professional barber.

During his recent visit to the United States, Pope Francis said, “Jesus comes to meet us, so that he can restore our dignity as children of God. He wants us to set out again, to resume our journey, to recover our hope, to restore our faith and trust. He wants us to keep walking along the paths of life, to realize that we have a mission.” Francisco is on a journey, and thanks to the Jen School, he is filled with hope for the future. We hope that you will remember Francisco and the rest of Maryville’s children at this blessed time of year by including us in your year-end giving plans. Give today to help us restore hope and a bright future to many other children like Francisco.

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