Client Story: Andre Starts Anew

Mom and Son cropped“Andre” wanted to spend his sixteenth birthday at home with his mom.  She always made his favorite cake and took him to see whatever movie he wanted.  It was their little tradition.

Andre missed that tradition the year before, spending his birthday in a cell inside New Orleans’ juvenile jail instead.  He had recently been arrested on a serious charge and, even though his mom visited, it just wasn’t the same.

Andre’s lawyer, Teneé, had been fighting hard for him in court since the day he was arrested.  When it finally looked like Andre might go home, his social worker, Heather, worked with Andre’s mom to enroll him in school.  She also set up a meeting with his teachers to address his special education needs, and got him an appointment with a therapist.

When Teneé argued for Andre’s release, it was clear to the judge that he had the right supports in place to be successful back at home.  Andre slept in his own bed that night.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing from there. Andre struggled in a traditional high school, feeling alienated from his peers and behind in his classes.  When his LCCR team asked him what might work better, Andre said he still wanted to get his education, but wanted to start working as well.  So Heather helped enroll him in a HiSET program and join Liberty’s Kitchen, which trains at-risk youth in culinary trades.

Recently, Andre graduated from Liberty’s Kitchen.  His LCCR team was there cheering him on alongside his mom, an image of pride.  Andre’s now working at a restaurant on Magazine Street while he continues to pursue his HiSET.  And he’s looking forward to many more birthdays at home.