Dominic's Story

Move the Middle is making all the difference for Dominic

Dominic is a bright and energetic middle schooler. Unfortunately, his home life is unstable and often he wonders whose house he'll be staying at for the night. When he is home, it's in an unsafe neighborhood and he typically stays inside, watching TV, and playing video games. He is missing assignments and as his grades begin to fall, he starts staying away from school more and more often.

Then COVID-19 hits and things get worse. Already living paycheck to paycheck, his mom loses her restaurant job when it has to shut down. Because school is closed, the breakfast and lunch Dominic counted on during the week disappears. Like most of us, Dominic begins to suffer from confusion and stress due to the uncertainty of a global pandemic.

If not for Move the Middle, Dominic would be on the fast track to becoming a drop out.

Toward the end of the first semester, United Way's Achievement Advocate had identified students in need of extra support and was working with Dominic before the pandemic hit. During the shutdown, she continued working with Dominic and other students to help them get and stay on track. Small changes are making a big difference in Dominic's life. And it will make an even bigger difference in the health and vitality of our community.

Changing the lives of middle schoolers across the Rock River Valley

Thirty-three percent of our area 9th graders aren't on track to graduate and once they get off track, they rarely recover without intervention. Dropouts are more likely to engage in criminal behavior or require social services, costing taxpayers millions of dollars annually in public assistance programs, and aren't eligible for 90 percent of the jobs available.

That's why United Way has taken on the bold initiative to ensure every middle schooler is on track to graduate. Your donation to United Way is the best way you can help a child, a family, a neighborhood, and a community.

These are extraordinary times. Thank you for being extraordinary and giving to United Way of Rock River Valley.

Watch Dominic's story

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