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Helen: The Adult He Trusted

By Helen Arneson, AmeriCorps Promise Fellow at Minneapolis Southwest High School, with Check & Connect

“One of the students that I have been working with in the last few months had been giving me some trouble in terms of connecting with him. He resisted my attempts to connect or work on goal setting. I was very frustrated and felt like I was putting a lot of work into a relationship that was not going to develop.

One day though, he suddenly came into my office and said that he needed me. I followed him over to where he and his friends normally hang out during the school day, where one of his friends was crying. He looked at me and said “I don’t know what to do.”  We went over to her and I asked her what was wrong. This was when my student looked at her and said, “Don’t worry, tell her. You can trust her.”

I went on to help her gain some composure and helped her solve the problems that were making her upset. This made me realize that the relationship building I had been doing with him had not been fruitless. The work that was happening was making an impact. I asked him later why he decided to grab me and he told me that I was “the adult he trusted in the building”. It was a rather small incident, but knowing that I was trusted made me feel valued and like the work I was doing was important.”

From Voices From the Field – Winter 2020

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