Sitha* is a hard-working grade 11 student taking English and computer classes with CFI. After her mother passed away, Sitha had severe difficulties with her caretakers; today, she is in CFI’s Independent Living program, which allows her to concentrate on her studies and well-being. Despite the difficulties she has faced, she continues to grow academically and socially.  

Before participating in CFI programs, Sitha faced a difficult home life and relatives who did not motivate her to attend school. The transition to attending school was hard, and she struggled with behavioral issues that affected her schoolwork and relationships. Teachers and counselors noticed Sitha did not enjoy working with groups and did not have good relationships with peers or instructors.

Team based interventions– teachers having collaborative weekly meetings to discuss students like Sitha individually and share personalized solutions to their problems–helped Sitha improve. In addition to teacher support, she received counseling and social work services with regular follow ups. She now has the confidence to ask for help when needed, and knows how to utilize her strengths to solve problems independently. These skills have directly translated to the classroom, where she participates in group work and discussions, has friends in class and has gained valuable people skills for her future.

Over the course of the program, Sitha’s English skills have advanced to the point where she can assist peers in the classroom with translations and questions. She asks questions in class and is a well- prepared student. One of her strengths is being an organized writer, utilizing paragraphs and sentence structure to great effect. Sitha wants to continue with English into grade 12, and continue developing the leadership and language abilities will help her obtain a job in the future.

During her first computer classes, Sitha struggled to even type on the keyboard. After receiving one to one support from CFI’s computer teacher Rady, she advanced quickly to catch up with other students. Although she was initially hesitant to answer questions or work in groups in class, her relationships with classmates improved and now she is eager to participate in discussions and collaborate with others.  

Teachers are thrilled with the progress Sitha has made with the program, and believe that CFI has been crucial in motivating her to achieve academically and socially. By working with counselors, social workers, and teachers, Sitha’s problem-solving skills have vastly improved as she has been guided in identifying personal strengths and using them to address challenges. Her new interpersonal skills, academic ability, and demonstrated leadership will help her pursue a university education to attain a job in entrepreneurship or business. Sitha wants to take advantage of CFI internship opportunities in the future, and is very close to achieving her goal of completing grade 12 and continuing to college!

*name changed in accordance with the Child Protection Policy

A special thank you to Better Lives for generously sponsoring CFI’s Job Competitiveness program, which made Sitha’s story possible