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From left: Leydi Luna and her son Yordi Luna, 15, of Boyle Heights. Yordi, a sophomore at Garfield High School, had a difficult freshman year that included chronic absenteeism. Yordi's sophomore year has been much different. His attitude about school has changed and he is consistently attending school.
Boyle Heights --Not showing up to school had long been a problem for 15-year-old Yordi Luna. The Garfield High sophomore was considered chronically absent in ninth grade. But through intervention from his school, district staff and even a visit from the superintendent, he’s back on track.
“I kind of like going to school and I’m doing good,” Yordi said recently.
Yordi’s mother Leydi Luna said Yordi struggled to transition from middle school to Mendez High School, the teen’s home campus. He moved to Garfield, yet attendance was still a problem: Yordi racked up two months' worth of absences freshman year, according to Leydi.
Carvalho visited with Yordi and connected with the teen through music and playing football. The superintendent encouraged him to attend class and promised he would monitor Yordi’s progress and would look him up during a future visit to campus.
Yordi, who played football at Garfield this school year, met with Carvalho before the second game of the season.
“I was surprised he actually followed up with me,” Yordi said. “I know he’s busy and stuff…That has to show you care at least a little bit.”
The visit appears to have inspired Yordi, and Thong closely monitors his attendance and academic performance, Leydi said. The three meet regularly or have phone conferences to talk about the teen’s progress.
Yordi has missed school only twice so far this year due to illness. He said his outlook on attendance is different from what it was freshman year.
“I never really thought it mattered that much that I go to school,” he said. “I feel like my mindset about school is a lot different.”
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Monica Rodriguez is a freelance writer. She has more than two decades of experience in daily journalism working for news publications in Pennsylvania and California. She is a product of Boyle Heights and continues to call the community home.
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Unbelievable! Do parents have ANY responsibility for their children these days?
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