Dina: Success in Science and Life | Working On Self Esteem By Maria Loraine Araiza, LBSW, Social Worker
Before joining the Lee & Beulah Moor Children’s Home family, Dina, 11, lived with her mother, who was having a difficult time maintaining a stable home. Her mother decided to place Dina at the El Paso based Children's Home while she worked some issues in her life to be able to better provide for her daughter. When Dina was placed, she was comfortable with the living situation, but missed her mother. She hadn’t seen her father in seven years.
When Dina began attending school, she was upset because couldn’t speak English well. She felt she couldn’t be successful at school because she did not understand most of what was being taught. Dina voluntarily came to the tutoring center at Lee & Beulah Moor Children’s Home every day and read with different staff members. Before long, she improved her English and her grades. Dina recently took the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test and passed with flying colors, receiving commended scores in reading.
Sports Programs At Children's Home Help Dina Build Self Esteem
Dina had extremely low self esteem when she came to the program, but developed a lot of confidence and leadership skills in the year and a half she was at LBMCH. She joined the flag football team and received the MVP award for her age group. She also participated in judo at the gym. She became very talkative and outgoing, and developed the ability to control her impulses and think about best choices before taking action.
One day Dina came from school and excitedly informed the staff she had received first place at the school science fair. Her project was entitled “What Freezes Faster?” and involved testing samples of tap water, salt water, and bottled water. Her initial hypothesis was that the bottled water would freeze faster because it cost money. Through testing, she discovered that salt water took longer to freeze. She spent several days preparing the artwork for her science fair display board and worked diligently to type her project on the computer. She was thrilled to see a first place blue ribbon on her board after judging. Next year she hopes to win the sweepstakes competition so she can compete at the next level.
After about a year in the program, Dina had a family visit coming up and prior to going, she asked her mom talk to LBMCH staff. She didn’t want to leave the Home. She was happy to be making progress and she had stated she wanted to continue doing better. During the next semester, her mother rented an apartment and furnished Dina’s room. Dina and her mom then agreed it was time for reunification.
Rebuilding Families In Crisis
Before Dina left, her caseworker coordinated an opportunity for her biological father to begin having contact with her, and worked with the mother to feel positive about making this happen. Dina is looking forward to spending part of the summer with her new found dad. Mom and dad are currently co-parenting and Dina continues to do well.