And We Will Rise Analysis

And Still We Rise
The lives and experiences of the twelve inner-city students in Cowin’s “And We Will Rise” is a reality of the many students a school social worker will encounter throughout their career. It’s been said, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, this holds truth for the students represented in Cowin’s stories. Dependable and positive parental support becomes a measure to determine if a student can achieve success as they journey through their high school years within the school systems. However, each of the twelve students, despite their circumstances, showed remarkable resilience even though they struggled in many aspects of life such as; treacherous home lives; the lack of developmental milestones endured during childhood
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Oliva’s mother was emotionally and physically abusive towards her and therefore Oliva’s only escape from the horrific encounters was her time spent in school, where she developed a love and a gift for learning. It was through the love and support of her teaches that helped her survive and gain the courage to finally escape her mother’s abuse. Over the next few years, Oliva found herself bouncing between foster homes, trying to live on her own and eventually ending up in Juvenile Hall. However, no matter what challenges Oliva encountered, she continued to focus on her academics and through her own perseverance and with the encouragement and support of Mrs. Little and Mr. Braxton, she succeeds academically in a school where the dropout rate was 50%. For Oliva, and the others enrolled in the gifted magnet program at Crenshaw, they found a place where they could share her love of learning with the others and connect to them in a deeper way then just through shared struggles of their life experiences, a place that felt like family. Furthermore, not only did the magnet program help Oliva thrive in her academics, it also provided her with the confidence and the skill to become resourceful and utilized her knowledge financially support herself.
The foster care system and the school system were the systems in Oliva’s life that were meant to shelter and prepare
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School social workers can collaborate between other school members as well as with family, and other caretakes in order to increase the academic and future successes for students. Oliva could have benefited greatly with a school social worker by her side advocating for her wellbeing between the systems that failed her. The school social worker could have been the one stability role model throughout her high school years, that would provide her with encouragement and guidance. Furthermore, a school social worker may have been the key in changing the understanding of Ms. Littles attitude through education, a component that she herself can relate too, in order to promote advocacy on behalf of her students who are also part of the foster care system. Educators should be aware of the needs of those children who are part of the foster care system. More so, they should be educated on how to be a supportive and stable resource within the public-school system for the many youth in the foster care system. Lastly, to provided resources for the students is an essential part of the role of a school social worker, therefore the relationships social workers develop and maintain across sectors is crucial when providing a service for any youth who is transitioning into young

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