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Success Coaches in Action

Pictured above is Raquel (at left) with Cherro West after receiving the award.

MDHHS Success Coach receives Daniel Pfaff Pathways to Potential Leadership Award

"I felt like I had reached full circle,” Raquel said. “Returning to Western International High School as a Success Coach allows me to help ‘me’ all over again. I can now provide support and encouragement to the students who are feeling lost and alone.”

For her efforts at the school, Raquel has been given the 2023 Daniel Pfaff Pathways to Potential Leadership Award. She received the MDHHS award during a surprise presentation on Friday, Dec. 1, in the school auditorium; her husband, Matthew, who also attended the school, and other family members attended the event.

Like other Success Coaches, Raquel is stationed within a school or other facility to connect students and families with needed resources and to help them overcome barriers to success. Cherro West, Raquel's Pathways mentor who nominated her for the award, said Raquel “hit the ground running” as a Success Coach and praised her for helping a student facing challenges to graduate.

In that instance, while helping him with transportation issues, Raquel learned the student was not on track to graduate. She brought this to the principal's attention and helped secure funds to cover the student’s senior dues.

“Thanks to Raquel's unwavering commitment and effective collaboration with school leadership, the student successfully graduated alongside his peers in the class of 2023,” Cherro wrote in her nomination letter.

Cherro also lauded Raquel for fostering relationships among peers, school staff, and the community that enabled events like a back-to-school fair that provided backpacks, school supplies, and other resources to students and their families.

Raquel said the most meaningful part of being a Success Coach is her interaction with students. On one occasion, after learning a student was coming to school in just a T-shirt during winter, she provided a donated winter coat, which turned out to have slightly small sleeves. Even so, the student wanted to keep it.

“As he and the teacher were walking out of my office, (the student) turned and asked if he could hug me,” she said. “I said ‘Yes,’ and he thanked me for the coat. I knew I had made the best choice to become a Success Coach.”

2023 honorable mentions for the Pfaff award are Robert Bankston, Wayne County; Kristina Haring, Clare County; and Kacie Williams, Ottawa County.

Pictured above is Raquel (at left) with Cherro West after receiving the award.

Daniel Pfaff Pathways to Potential Leadership Award

Daniel Pfaff Pathways to Potential Leadership Award

Eliza Perez, a Pathways Success Coach at a Holland elementary school, received the MDHHS award Wednesday during a special ceremony. She is being lauded for helping the young student overcome a lice condition that was affecting the student's academic performance and opportunities in school.

The Daniel Pfaff Pathways to Potential Leadership Award is presented annually to a Pathways to Potential Success Coach or Mentor who has demonstrated leadership, compassion, and a willingness to go above and beyond to successfully and creatively remove barriers that have prevented a child or family from achieving their full potential. The efforts of the nominee have resulted in improved student attendance in the classroom and/or employment or increased self-sufficiency for the family.

Success Coach Ametrius Perteet Promotes Attendance with Collaboration and Creativity

At Harms Elementary School, Success Coach Ametrius Perteet takes a creative and innovative approach to boost student attendance. She creates an engaging space in her office to help promote attendance while aligning with the school calendar and "Fun Friday" initiative. This initiative encourages students and staff to dress up or participate in a special monthly theme. In January, Harms Elementary focused on Detroit sports teams by inviting the students to wear team colors; Pistons, Tigers, or Lions gear. In February, they honored Black History Month by highlighting Black leaders. After taking pictures of the participants in front of the themed wall, the attendance agent uploads these photos onto a slideshow to use during Harms Elementary’s “Friday Shout Outs” ceremony. The shout-outs recognize students for their attendance and excellent behavior.

Ametrius said, “The students love it!”

Ametrius Perteet - Success Coach Story Image

Success Coach Helps to Secure Grant to Increase Attendance

St. Clair County Pathways to Potential Success Coach helped secure a $5,000 grant to provide incentives to increase attendance among elementary school students.

Gail Lohr, worked closely with Joseph Kramer, principal of The STEAM Academy at Woodrow Wilson Elementary in Port Huron, to secure this funding through the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. In addition to providing incentives, the grant funding will help remove barriers that prevent some students from consistently attending school.

The request for funding was prompted by the fact that 40% of the students missed 15 or more days of school for the 2020-21 school year. The grant will allow Pathways to provide monthly rewards and incentive trips along with items to help meet the basic needs of students and their families.

The hope is that this program improves attendance, thus increasing engagement and growth for these students.

Congratulations, Gail, on this effort!

Gail Lohr