Frankie has trouble focusing on his homework and paying attention in school; he has fights in the schoolyard; he has serious mood swings; he has no friends. He lives with his mother and two sisters in one room in a homeless shelter. Frankie is one of our students.
Melissa was abandoned by her family at 12 years old, addicted to meth before entering 6th grade, and deemed "defiant" by every adult who has ever worked with her. When I first met Melissa, she was sitting at the kitchen table glaring at me.