From a slacker to a top student

14-year-old Emilie is in the sixth grade of elementary school. She lives in an area notorious for poverty industry* and petty crimes. We started to help Emilia two years ago. She had almost exclusively F grades at school at the time and her parents had to deal with various behavioral problems. When we first met Ema, she was contradicting us all the time and she had difficulties respecting authority. By the age of 12, she had already gone through community service due to one of her incidents.

Ema has six siblings, she takes care of all her younger sisters and brothers. Her parents are kind and interested in educating their children. Her mother, however, has finished only 7 grades of elementary school and she has to look after an infant herself. And her father goes to work every day. Both of her parents really want Ema to have good grades. But they don’t have the capacity and time to pay attention to her individually. Where Ema lives, we have been tutoring children for several years now. One day Ema decided to attend the lecture – out of curiosity. She liked it so much that she has never left us. Neither her parents nor us made her do that. We believe that is the reason she is still so motivated and she attends tutoring regularly without any absences.

Someone who would be there for her

Cooperation with Emilia goes so well that for the last years she has been passing with honors at school! From a slacker, who almost had to repeat a grade, she has become an active student, who likes school and prepares dutifully and with interest. She communicates with the tutor even outside of class – she asks him to explain things which she doesn’t understand. The only thing Ema needed to make herself like school was someone who would be there for her.

Ema inspires other children from the area and she enjoys being a positive example for them.

Although Ema’s family owns a phone, they don’t have any computer. Distance education was therefore difficult during the quarantine. To support Ema in doing homework, we decided to lend a computer to the family. Ema is really diligent, so all members of our team agreed that she deserves it. Together with her siblings she is doing various exercises. The family is not in any financial troubles, so there is no risk that they will sell or pawn the computer. Emilka doesn’t have any substantial difficulty using the computer thanks to basics she learned at school.

Currently, Ema meets her tutor outside twice a week. They are doing homework together. Ema inspires other children from the area and she enjoys being a positive example for them. She helps us organize free time activities for children at the panel housing estate and she takes care of the smaller children. We are glad to have her on our “team”.

*Money-making activities that attract a large portion of their business from the poor because of their poverty (e. g. payday loan centers, pawnshops, rent-to-own centers, casinos, lotteries)


Author: Radka Kachramanová