Bianca Green – From Excel Academy Student to Delco Academy Employee

 In Camelot Blog

Delco Academy classroom counselor, Bianca Green, has been where many Delco Academy students are today: she was struggling with life as a teenager, and that affected her education.

“I lost my father in my junior year of high school,” she said. “That was a difficult time for me, and it began to affect my dedication to school and other things in my life. My attendance and grades suffered immensely. I stopped completing homework and was not engaged in classwork.  Eventually, my teachers advised me that, because of all of this, I was not on track to graduate.”

Bianca found herself completely out of school. Getting a GED was not an option for her, as her parents always insisted that she complete high school and continue her education beyond that point.

“I started researching alternative high school options and came across Camelot Education’s Excel Academy South in Philadelphia,” she said. “I met with the academic counselor at the school and told them about my journey, my current academic status, and my desire to graduate on time. I wanted to meet my personal goals, and that meant graduating from high school. With the support of Excel Academy, I immersed myself in the program and fulfilled my goal of obtaining a high school diploma.”

Bianca graduated in 2011, started a family, and then went on to work as a classroom aide for a charter school in Philadelphia. One of her goals had always been to help others the way she was helped at Excel Academy, and she continues to do this through her work in education.

Recently, a position opened up at Camelot Education’s Delco Academy, part of the Southeast Delco School District, and Bianca applied to be a teacher’s aide. She began working at the school last year, in September.

“When Bianca Green’s resume came across our desks at Delco Academy, she was brought in to interview along with several other applicants,” said the school’s clinical director, Simone Golden. “Her bubbly personality and experience in the classroom setting with diverse learners made her a stand-out candidate.”

In her position at Delco Academy, Bianca works with high school students, supporting the teacher in the classroom with academic instruction by running small groups that the teacher organizes, reinforcing lesson material, and discreetly addressing behavioral issues in the classroom so that the teacher does not have to stop a lesson. She may speak with a student discretely in class to refocus their efforts on learning, or she might invite the student into the hallway to talk through their emotions before rejoining class.

Delco Academy serves students in grades K-12, referred by the school district in Delaware County, PA, who experience emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges. Camelot’s approach to education centers on whole-child support for students, with an understanding that before learning can happen, the fundamental needs of each student must be met. The school also focuses on immersive social-emotional learning (SEL) which allows students to develop skills and strategies to help them thrive in social and emotional situations outside of school.

“At my high school in Philadelphia, Excel Academy, all of the students came from different backgrounds,” Bianca said. “We each had our own story as to why we did not take the traditional route in school and why we needed the support of a program like Camelot. However, we all had a common purpose, and that was to gain our high school diploma. Along the way, we formed relationships with staff members that really cared about our well-being, not just as students, but as people. I knew if, given the opportunity, I would be able to be the person to our students that the staff members at Camelot were for me. I’d be able to give a lot of them something that they may not have in their home lives and show them, through my own experience, that hurdles don’t have to determine your future. I am a Camelot success story.”

Delco Academy Principal, Cathy Menow, calls Bianca a wonderful addition to the high school staff.

“Her energy and ‘can do’ attitude have significantly impacted our students in a positive way,” Menow said. “As a former Camelot student, she has a unique perspective. She holds the students she works with to high expectations while continually helping them to meet their daily goals. In our Criminal Justice class, she worked with a student who did not have a partner on a PowerPoint presentation. When the presentation was completed, she joined the student during the presentation and they did it as a team. That’s just an example of how she truly wants the best for our students.”

Bianca, who has been working toward her associate’s degree, calls the culture and learning environment at Delco Academy ‘awesome.’

“The staff helps students in all ways they can – tangibly, mentally and emotionally,” she says. “My being a student before, and now an employee shows the children you can reach your goals. I take pride in reminding the students I’ve been in their shoes. My story may not be the same as theirs, but our story can end the same way. I graduated high school, I have completed several courses in college, I am a mother, I’ve built my work experience, and I am now doing what I always dreamed of and love – working with children that many people have given up on. It’s important to me to remind our students that they have value and to follow whatever dream they have. Anything is truly possible.”

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