Sometimes a teacher can make a world of difference.
At ROADS Charter School in the South Bronx, art teacher Lisa Barnshaw goes above and beyond for her students. ROADS is designed for students who are older than their expected grade level and lacking enough credits to graduate. Students who have been involved in the juvenile or criminal justice system, are homeless or in transitional housing, or involved in foster care or child protective services, are given specific admissions preferences to the public school.
The outside world might judge these students for their pasts but Barnshaw describes them as "what the world needs."
"The label 'at risk' implies that the student is the problem. But really, that 'at risk' label is a byproduct of broken systems that have not met the needs or lagging skills of our kids," Barnshaw told The Huffington Post over email. "That’s our fault, not theirs, and our job to try to make right."
The love between Barnshaw and her students go both ways.
"She's not only my teacher but she's more like a life coach. She is always pushing me when I'm ready to give up. She's been there for me through it all," said student Patricia Lucas, 19.
Learn more about Lisa and the connection she has with her students in the video above.
This video was produced by Kat Santiago and Rebecca Klein shot by Dan Fox, Ian MacInnes, Sam Wilkes and Mike Caravella and edited by Zack Chapman.