Kanke | NAZ Academic Specialist located at PCYC

"At first, all of the scholars were trying to see who I was ...

One scholar was very resistant toward me, and toward a lot of things. Challenging behavior often shows up because the coursework is too difficult and the child tends to act out. It's not that they're a bad kid, but no one has had the time to stop and see what a kid needs.

One day, he brought his football, and I said: 'let's go to the gym' — knowing he was struggling with sight words. So we threw the ball back and for and spelled 'all' — A-L-L. That became our rhythm.

Now, he has a new way to learn. The classroom doesn't always work for everybody; sometimes we have to switch it up. And I really appreciate the opportunity to bring my creativity.

He's able to do both now — work in the gym and in the classroom space. What I'm able to do is build up his confidence in himself and in his reading. And he's doing it!

A lot of the staff a PCYC work in the field of social work, and they use the term 'hire.' And this scholar we're talking about hired me. It's a trust, someone he can trust and go to.

What I walk forward with is that connection with him. He knows we're on it — both of us. It's like 'Hey Ms. Kanke, we haven't met this week' and I'm like 'I'm coming for you; I got you.'

That's my guy. There was a lot of kicking and screaming at the beginning ... but he's the funniest and he's so loving and I wish everyone could see that."

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3 days ago  ·  

NAZ Specialists

Specialists Support Specific Family Goals

Specialists are experts in program areas and help parents and children access services within our partner network.

Just as Family Achievement Coaches help families to set and achieve goals, NAZ Specialists help families reach their goals in specific areas (i.e. housing, academics, etc.). Most Specialists are located onsite at our partner organizations.

The specific Specialist roles include:

Academic Specialist

Academic Specialists are located onsite at partner schools and provide one-on-one academic support to our school-age students. As needed, they coordinate support in reaching Achievement Plan goals.

Behavioral Health Access Specialist

Many NAZ parents and children have experienced trauma. When individuals need extra support, our Behavioral Health Access Specialist uses observation and assessment to determine which mental health services would be beneficial, and connects families with our partners.

Career & Finance Specialist

Our Career & Finance Specialist coordinates job readiness and career training to help families move beyond just a job to a rewarding career. Our goal is to support parents to achieve financial independence and stability.

Housing Specialist

The Housing Access Specialist provides families with individualized support to obtain and maintain safe and stable housing. The Specialist partners with parents to understand the goals of each family, and ensure they feel empowered to accomplish their housing goals by providing access to partner and community resources pertaining to rental, homeownership, and civic/neighborhood engagement, as well as referrals to the Career Access Specialist and anchor partners in order to build financial stability and well-being.

Note: These roles replace what was formerly known as Navigator roles.