NEST—which stand for nurturing, empowering and supporting for tomorrow—is a safe haven after the bell rings that offers basic needs, counseling, academic and enrichment support for Georgetown ISD high school students who are homeless, at-risk or living in transition, according to the center’s website.
On April 17, GISD announced that it would close schools for the remainder of the school year, forcing students to finish out the semester from home. The center also remains closed due to coronavirus concerns, but the program continues to check on its students and support them with any needs they may have, Georgetown Project CEO Leslie Janca said.
Every year the center serves about 100 kids and works to fill gaps in services for vulnerable children, Janca said.
“It’s been six weeks since they were in school and able to visit the NEST after school, so we’re supporting our NEST goals, just in new ways right now,” Janca said. “We can’t wait to see them in our center again.”
Janca said the center has been communicating with each student by phone, Facetime, text, Zoom and other social media platforms. Through keeping regular contact, the center ensures students completed their school work, including art project assignments.
The center has been so impressed with the students' talent that the center has printed all of the art pieces and taped them to the front door of the Empowerment Center, Janca said.
“One of the projects was to paint themselves into a character. And so [the students are] sending us all these beautiful pictures of them,” Janca said.