Alex Roman – Guiding Students to Overcome
Alex Roman, a Behavior Specialist at Camelot Education’s Phoenix Academy in Lancaster, Pennsylvania said his greatest satisfaction about working in the accelerated program is seeing his students realize they can achieve more than they thought they could.
Roman, who has been with Phoenix Academy for three years now, attained his credentials at Community College of Philadelphia. He majored in human behavior services, with the clear intention of raising a younger generation to aim higher and overcome the obstacles of the environments.
“Specifically, the program is focused on kids that need that extra attention,” he said. “Most of them are dealing with issues other than their classrooms and schoolwork. We’re talking about young people who have experienced dysfunctional families or seen or experienced traumatic violence. Some have come out of the foster care system and might not be living with their parents. All of these problems can affect their schoolwork.”
It’s very rewarding, he said when the kids understand that he comes from the same environment that they do. They know he can relate to them. “Sometimes one of them will say to me, ‘you don’t understand what I’m going through.’ I tell them, I do understand because I came through the same problems. I’m from the exact same environment as you.
According to Roman, the students he interacts with are mostly inner city kids who have, for a variety of reasons, fallen behind in their schooling. The accelerated program is designed to get them back on track. Some of them, he said, he feels don’t really belong at Phoenix Academy.
“One of my students was exceptionally bright but he had anxiety issues. He didn’t really fit in at the previous school,” he said. “But our goal here is to get them back into their regular schools. We focus on them receiving their diplomas and also point them in the direction of colleges and trade schools. One of my students, I can’t give his name of course, but he came from a particularly difficult family situation. His brothers had all chosen the wrong paths. He saw the military as a way out of the ‘hood. I stood with him, constantly reminding him of what he could accomplish and that he didn’t have to become what his brothers did. He chose the United States Marine Corps, joined up. Today he’s doing great. The accelerated program is designed to give students the extra push, that extra attention that they need to make a change in their lives.