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“Molly” Taking Initiative in Syracuse

“Molly” Taking Initiative in Syracuse

Molly became involved in Right Turn one year ago. She was court-involved and out of school. When she and her case manager first met, the deadline for signing up for summer school in the Syracuse city school district had just passed. Molly’s first outing with her case manager was to go directly to the source, and see if she could be signed up for school on the spot. 

    Upon arrival, Molly. and her case manager patiently awaited their turn to see which classes still had availability.  In the meantime, she recognized some people she knew in the hallway, on their way to class. This made her realize that she needed to return to school, and she told her case manager that she was determined to make it happen. At this point, her case manager barely knew her, but felt this was a great first impression. 

    From there, Molly jumped right in to her academic studies, career exploration, and restorative justice activities. In her time in the program, she has participated in community service activities such as making lunches for elementary school children at a nearby school, and assisting at a local Food Pantry. In terms of steps towards being employed, she obtained her working papers and Sheriff’s ID with the help of her case manager. As a result, she secured a part-time job at the New York State Fair last summer.  To explore more long-term career options, she attended a Speed Career Mentoring event where she heard from professionals in a variety of fields. Molly also attended an Open House at BOCES, which offers trade certification programs. She even attended a college visit to SUNY Oswego to see if post-secondary education could be a good fit for her. 

    The fact that Molly keeps coming back to the Right Turn program is meaningful.  It demonstrates a significant behavioral change from her past, where she often became disengaged with educational endeavors that she pursued. Molly likes to visit her case manager at the office, appointment or not; and she’ll call whether her case manager has called her or not. This is precisely the sentiment echoed in a speech about her given by her case manager at a recent Right Turn Graduation Celebration – that taking initiative is something that is rare, and will serve Molly well in whatever direction she heads in.