HERO for Kids Foundation, in collaboration with Skyview School has an overall school attendance rate of 91%.
Despite the importance of regular school attendance, chronic absenteeism is surprisingly widespread. It is estimated that one in seven U.S. students, or 14% of the student population, was chronically absent during the 2013-2014 school year (U.S. Department of Education [ED], 2016).
Student A: 52% (previous school) to 85% school attendance at Skyview School.
Student B: 58% (previous school) to 99% school attendance at Skyview School
Former Homeless Student Receives Multiple College Offers
Dilan Oezkan is a superstar. A young man anyone would be proud to have as their son. He is in the International Baccalaureate program at Saddleback High School in Santa Ana. As a senior, he has an overall G.P.A. of 4.4, and he runs cross country at his school. He also has held a job at Chick-fil-A since he was a freshman in high school. But Dilan's story is different from most high school seniors. Dilan has been homeless since he was a young child. He attended Skyview School twice as a young child, and the teachers there have maintained contact with him over the years.
Dilan recently spoke at the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Conference. In front of 1,600 attendees, Dilan shared his story of sleeping outside on benches as a young boy. He often stared up at the stars and wondered if this is what his whole life would be like.
As an older child, Dilan's family got an apartment, but lost it. They began living as many impoverished children in Orange County do, in cheap, scary long term stay motels. This went on for a few years until Dilan moved out of the motel room he shared with his parents and four siblings when he was a freshman in high school due to constant stress and tension. He bounced between four homes of friends over the next three years, paying rent and contributing where he could. But nearing the end of his junior year, when yet another living situation was beginning to crumble, some mentors of Dilan's got an idea. Approaching 18 within the next few months, what if some community programs could come together and help Dilan obtain his own apartment. And that's just what happened. HERO for Kids is proud to provide Dilan, who hopes to attend Columbia University next fall, a stipend each month to assist with his daily living expenses.
Dilan makes ends meet each month by being provided stipends by HERO for Kids, one private donor, and his job at Chick-fil-A. But things are very tight. If you'd like to invest in this incredible young man's future, you can do so by making a contribution to HERO each month, or by contacting us and writing a check directly to Dilan.
We hope you are as inspired by this amazing kid as we are.