During this unprecedented time of adaptation, DTS continues to provide support for our students in every way that we can. We FaceTime, we Zoom, we set up WiFi accounts, we don masks and gloves to deliver supplies, we continue to connect. Virtual trivia night, talent shows, and group meditation sessions are part of our new normal at DTS.
This month, we take you inside the DTS virtual classroom and into the lives of our students. Remote learning is profoundly more difficult for low-income students than others. Crowded living conditions and insufficient tech access are just two of many challenges facing our students. In addition to our usual services, DTS has increased its mental health support and is offering vital family resources to help ensure student safety and morale. As always, we remain steadfast in our mission to help underserved students realize their goals of high school and college graduation and set themselves on the path to fulfilling futures.
Students remain connected through activities like the DTS Virtual Talent Show. Below, 10th graders Noemi and Jasmine, whose families are staying Safer at Home together, perform a duet.
DTS FROM HOME – Melissa
Melissa, a first year college student at College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, is now completing her spring semester from home in South LA. Melissa shares what is on her mind:
“Lately I have been thinking about everything I took for granted. I have grown a stronger appreciation for the outdoors, friends, family, etc. I have also been reflecting on how to become more mindful of everything I have to be thankful for. This experience has been a bit stressful because there were a lot of changes in such a short amount of time – having to move out of my dorm room, figuring out where to store everything, coming back home, and trying to complete my classes virtually through my phone. Living at home, I found it difficult to be productive.I had to create boundaries with family to ensure that most of my focus was towards my studies and then home commitments. I am disappointed that my first year at college ended early. During my last month on campus, I was just starting to feel comfortable with my campus, making a good friend group, and getting closer with my roommates.
Since coming home, DTS has supported me by providing me with a safe study space with access to resources such as the internet. My DTS Advisor, Emmanuel, has given me guidance to resolve both personal and academic issues. He’s a person I can count on.”
DTS FROM HOME – English Class
DTS students set themselves up for success throughout high school by honing critical study skills in 9th grade. Below, learning continues as Mimi moves the 9th grade English class to Zoom conferences multiple times a week.
DTS FROM HOME – Adrian
For 12th grader, Adrian, senior year of high school is not ending as he envisioned. Traditional senior activities have been cancelled, but he is making the best of a difficult situation.
“During the quarantine, I’ve been thinking about college. I have wanted to go to college for many years, and I was accepted to some incredible schools with great financial aid offers. But it looks like I might not have the chance to actually attend for another year. I’m also disappointed I won’t be able to go to prom, grad night or graduation. These are all things every senior should have the opportunity to do. While quarantining has been difficult, it’s also been enjoyable. I’ve gotten to spend more time with my family; we play board games and going for walks. I also connect with my friends through video games and FaceTime. Plus, my DTS college counselor and the wellness director check in with me at least once a week to help make sure I’m getting my work done to be ready for the next step in my life.”
DTS FROM HOME – Demi
A DTS donor has provided many families with craft supplies, puzzles, books and games. Rather than watching TV, 11th grader Demi bedazzles a pair of jeans with a donated kit and shares her thoughts about the impact of COVID-19
“I don’t how COVID-19 is going to affect my family. I am worried that as it continues, my parents will not have enough income to support us. My biggest concern is about not having enough money to buy groceries and to pay bills. Both things are important, but I am scared we will be forced to choose between the two. Also, it has been stressful adjusting to a new routine to maintain my grades. It is hard to find a quiet space to work on homework due to having a big household, I live with my family and my extended family. I know that I can talk to any DTS staff member for advice/ reassurance. If I feel hopeless, I can talk to the health and wellness director to practice techniques to manage my stress. I also feel better knowing that DTS will help support my family financially if necessary.”