Nathan's Story: A Letter from a Ripley House Parent
September 2009
To Neighborhood Centers’ Ripley House Charter School,

After attending another parent conference regarding my 7-year old child’s behavior, I was at my wit's end. It was the second school we had tried for Nathan and, as always, everything was being addressed by my child’s needs. It was also taking a toll on Nathan. He would come home and say, "Mom, I hate my life. I do not want to live anymore". I was afraid that my son was beginning to suffer from depression. I was losing him and I felt hopeless. We needed help.

By age seven, Nathan had already undergone three surgeries for his ears. He was in constant pain, regardless of pain medication, which made it difficult for him to learn or pay attention. Despite Nathan’s condition and discomfort, staff at two previous schools seemed as though they just didn’t care, often forgetting to administer his medication. As a result of numerous ear infections, Nathan had hearing loss. To make matters worse, Nathan’s speech was not very good. Children would call him names and Nathan began to fall behind academically.

When I first set foot into Ripley House Charter School, I knew this was the school for my son. It felt positive from the moment I entered. From the start, Mrs. Elsen and her qualified staff heard my concerns regarding Nathan. Mrs. Elsen addressed each one of my concerns, not with empty words but with action. She saw to it that not just my son’s needs were met but that my needs, as a single mom, were met as well.

This year, Nathan came home from his first day of school saying, "Mom, I love school!" By the end of the week he was saying, "Mom, I like my life. I have a good life." Ripley House Charter School gave me my son back and saved our lives in the process. Thank you for giving me back what we had lost - HOPE.

Nathan’s Mom