Anthony is a 5th grader at Prospect Elementary School in Elyria. He lives on the south side of town with his mom, step-dad and his five siblings. Anthony and his family don’t have a lot, but they are close-knit and the children are surrounded by love. One thing that Anthony loves to do most is play basketball, and he often takes a ball to the nearest court to work on his jump shot.
Chris lives in Oberlin with his three young children. Right before the holiday season, Chris became a single father and had to reduce his hours at work in order to be available more for his children. These unexpected twists led to financial troubles with medical bills, food, and holiday expenses for Chris and his family. Despite never needing to reach out before, Chris realized that he had reached a point where he needed help.
Sandy is an 8th grader at Midview Middle School who struggled with her self-image and self-confidence. Despite having an outgoing personality, Sandy kept her feelings bottled up and she was becoming depressed.
Sandy was able to hide her true feelings from a majority of the students and teachers at the school. But her closest group of friends knew something was wrong. They told Sandy how beautiful, smart and talented she was, but she refused to believe them.
Mateo is a middle schooler who recently made a big move - from Puerto Rico to Lorain about a year ago. Since he lived in a Spanish-speaking territory before, Ohio was not what he was expecting. He had very little experience with the English language so he rarely participated in classroom activities or learning in school. Some of his other classmates from similar situations were able to adapt quickly and build their language skills up. That wasn't Mateo's case as it seemed the full immersion setting was not working with his focus and attention.