David’s work ethic paved the way for progress in reading


David is an 8th grader at Martin Luther King Middle School in Beaumont, Texas.

 He is a dedicated student, both in school and in life. He is fascinated by construction, and when his Dad started the major project of building their family home, he helped build a quarter of their house.

This strong work ethic did not always translate to strong academic performance. When Green Dot assumed operational control of David’s school, David was performing far below grade level in reading. Now, with his dedication and the support from the Green Dot team, his interest has taken off - and so have his grades. He has made 3.7x the progress in reading since enrolling at King Middle School.

David praises his teacher, Ms. Authement, for helping him to gain more confidence in his academics. “She teaches us to do things in the way that works best for us”, said David, who has grown into a leader in class. 

Ms. Authement is very fond of David. She credits his success fully to him; “he always wants to do his best and never gives up. I just gave him space to be himself and thrive.” It was also powerful for David to learn that it’s okay to not understand something, the key is to not give up and ask questions. This lesson has served him well.  

“He just doesn’t give up. I build his confidence, but it takes courage to admit that ‘I don’t know that right now, but I’m willing to learn.’ I’ve watched him grow into such a wonderful young man and I’m proud of him,” says Ms. Authement.

Ask anyone and they will tell you that David has lots of friends, has a great sense of style, is no longer shy, and is polite and kind to everyone. His mother says that he’s been lucky to learn a lot from his older brothers. “They really showed him the way and were good role models, so he’s more relaxed at school,” said Diana Solis, David’s mother. She feels that because of his experience at MLK Middle School, David is now ready to face all challenges that remain in the years ahead. “I’m very happy for him because I’ve told him how important it is that he gets ahead, it’s his last year and he has to take advantage of it so he will not have any problems in other subjects,” said Mrs. Solis. 

David aspires to go to trade school so that he can be a lead welder and help build the infrastructure that supports his community. David’s commitment to bettering himself and his community inspires everyone. 

Students thrive in Green Dot schools. Each arrives at our middle or high schools, full of the energy and creativity of youth, but often accompanied by a data anomaly that doesn’t remotely fit: they are multiple grades behind and chance of college and a successful career is slipping away. They have been promoted learning half a grade or less each year. At Green Dot, everything changes. Anonymity is banished within a Green Lens of care, support, and unlimited expectations. Students become Growth All Stars, achieving multiple grades of learning each year at their schools. 

There are 14,000 more Green Lens stories beyond these, each one unique and remarkable. Please put your energy behind them. GIVE what you can this holiday season and support All Star achievement.