Syheem Curry enrolled at The Pathway School in the fall of 2017 and continues to brighten the day of all of those who are around him with his warm and comforting smile. Even during the COVID-19 Pandemic, when masks prevent us from seeing his mouth, the twinkle in his eyes show the smile that we have all grown to know and love. His mother, Ms. Pouncey, said that she sees him smile so much more since starting at Pathway. She shared her appreciation for Pathway and how Syheem has grown during his time with us.
Syheem struggled in his previous school and Ms. Pouncey came to realize just how much these struggles were interfering with his ability to grow, so she began advocating for another school placement. The Pathway School was fortunate enough to be on the list of options provided for consideration.
Initially, the admissions staff were a bit concerned about Pathway’s ability to be the appropriate option for Syheem. Through conversations with multiple people throughout the admissions process, Ms. Pouncey convinced the team to ‘take a chance’ on him. She vividly recalls the conversation that allowed her to go into his trial period with ‘eyes wide open to the possibility that it may not be the right match’. Ms. Pouncey recalls respecting and appreciating the transparency of discussions and the dedication of the team to make the right decision for their family – even if that decision would be difficult to hear.
Syheem quickly acclimated to Pathway and has been showing us all he can do ever since. Ms. Pouncey remembers him coming home from school talking about his teachers and what he was working on. For the first time, she saw him emotionally engaged and invested in school.
Ms. Pouncey describes Syheem as an introvert. In the past, this has interfered with his ability to speak up and advocate for himself. Through the trust he has built with his staff, improvement in his confidence, and lessons provided about the importance of making your thoughts/feelings known, he has shown the ability to make his voice heard – always in a respectful manner (just as his mother taught him).
Ms. Pouncey has been encouraged by the team’s ability to talk through concerns she brings to the table. She feels truly heard and understood at Pathway, and she is grateful for the teams’ immediate actions implemented to solve concerns she may have.
“Syheem has had his learning struggles and it was frustrating as a parent. When The Pathway School took a chance on Syheem and our family, he began to excel, has excelled, and is still excelling. I see more excitement and willingness to try new things. Syheem comes home wanting to talk about what happened in school. We live by the motto and hashtag “My Son is NOT his disability” and Pathway has helped with encouragement, education, it’s staff support, and teamwork.” Ms. Pouncey states.
Syheem is starting to transfer some of the skills learned in school, at home. He independently can make some meals for himself, and she credits his programs focus on ‘learning the essentials’ to this carry-over. She laughed as she shared her excitement for the day he transfers more of his cleaning skills to home, but is grateful that he is mastering these skills at school. As most parents do, she spoke of being fearful of what things would look like when she is no longer around, but through experiences at school and him showing what he is learning at home, she is ‘not as afraid anymore’.