Jessica Delgado - Second Opportunity for Success®
Think about your first few weeks and months of high school. Were you nervous? Did you struggle to be part of a crowd? High school can be a tough time, especially as a freshman. It’s a time when you’re first discovering who you are as a person and that can be hard to do with all the pressures around you. For Jessica Delgado, the pressure to fit in led to a decision that ultimately changed her life for the better.
“I was hanging out with a group of kids that I thought were cool and they wanted me to do things I wasn’t comfortable with, but I wanted to fit in,” she said. When one of these things went too far, Jessica was offered the opportunity to join Lena Pope’s Second Opportunity for Success®
This program allowed Jessica to develop confidence within herself and her potential for success over its five-month period. Jessica described her experience with SOS as a positive and inspiring one that changed her perspective
and put her back on the right path.
“It made me more open to new opportunities and made me want to pursue my goals even more. Everyone in that room
was there just trying to change ourselves and make ourselves better. It just opened up your eyes to see that your mistakes don’t define you and that second chances are there for you to take them,” said Jessica.
Second Opportunity for Success® uses group sessions for children that discuss various topics for the first seven weeks to learn valuable skills and improve their relationships, school performance, and their behavior. These topics include self-esteem, peer pressure, decision making, social skills, building family relationships, and substance abuse/STD awareness. Additionally, parents attend classes that cover topics such as family unity, clear messages, consequences, decision making, social skills, self-control and corrective teaching, and building relationships.
After completing the program, Jessica chose to become involved at school and focus on her academics. She served on Student Council for three years as historian, was an active member in the Environmental Club and Running Club, and was also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honors organization. These efforts led to her graduating in the top ten percent of her class and being accepted into the University of Texas at San Antonio, which she will be attending this fall.
Jessica said that all of this probably wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for SOS and all that it taught her. “I learned that everybody makes mistakes, it doesn’t matter where you come from, but you can definitely do something about it. You can change yourself, change others, and never make the same mistakes again,” she shared.
While Jessica finished the SOS program three years ago, her support from Lena Pope didn’t end there. At the end of each program, a ceremony is held to celebrate the success of each child and their family. At this time, Family Specialist Nick Damon gives a card with his information to each child and tells them upon graduation from high school they can reach back out to him for any college supplies needed.
Three years later, that’s exactly what Jessica did.
With the help of Lena Pope, Nick held up his end of the deal by supplying her with a well-stocked care package of school supplies and dorm room essentials in support of her determination and success. Her excitement to attend college was evident as she once again walked through the doors of Lena Pope with both parents, a basket full of supplies, and a proud smile on her face.