When Laila was in elementary school, she and her two younger sisters moved in with their aunt, uncle and four cousins. Laila’s parents were incarcerated for drug use and trafficking. Laila’s aunt and uncle were introduced to Full Service Schools, an initiative that connects students and families with free health and human services, after Laila’s elementary school recognized her distress.
Through Full Service Schools, Laila received the counseling she needed to cope with the anxiety and stress of her childhood. Within a year of receiving support from Full Service Schools, Laila began to understand that while she could not control the situation with her parents, she could still be successful. As a result, her demeanor improved and she excelled academically and socially.
As a student enrolled in United Way’s Achievers For Life initiative, Laila continues to find success both in and outside of the classroom. She has maintained A/B honor roll and is heavily involved with her church youth group.
Recently, Laila attended United Way of Northeast Florida’s Achievers For Life Celebration in May to celebrate her 2015-2016 school-year accomplishments. With the guidance of her counselor, she has is processing her thoughts and feelings toward her mother in a healthy manner.
Laila is one of more than *17,000 individuals served by Full Service Schools during the 2015-2016 school year. To learn more about United Way’s education initiatives, visit: unitedwaynefl.org/what-we-do.