Iniko* has long been thought of as the reserved, quiet child in his peer group. For as long as Back2Back staff have known him, they’ve believed he was simply an introverted young man who kept close to his siblings and himself. They felt one of the reasons he was so self-contained was a result of being held back in school; this is common in Nigeria, but not necessarily good for a child’s self-esteem. Iniko followed close behind his family members, never really wanting to lead.
Iniko started attending Great Oaks Academy, Back2Back’s Trauma Informed School, and staff immediately saw a transformation take place. “He used to keep to himself, but now I see him walking and speaking with a renewed confidence,” explained Swanta Zakka, Back2Back staff. “He is thriving, leading those around him, and is more involved than ever in sports, especially basketball.” Iniko is also excelling academically and no longer runs the risk of being held back.
“We credit this drastic change to the safety he feels in the new school environment,” shared Swanta. “He clearly feels more comfortable and is realizing his own potential as the safe adults encourage it within him.”
Iniko seems significantly more relaxed and is eager to study, applying himself consistently in and out of the classroom. Staff are excited to see how he will continue to develop and settle into his new environment and credit his newfound successes to trauma-informed leadership and education. This is the power of trauma-informed education – children are met exactly where they are and inevitably flourish.