Senior PRP graduates after a tough road to the stage
Jorge Coronao rescued himself and his sister from a difficult family situation and turned their lives around with the help of his advisor.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In just days, Jefferson County Public School seniors will be hitting the stage for their graduations. For some seniors, the journey to get there has been accompanied by incredible obstacles and challenges.
Pleasure Ridge Park senior Jorge Coronao wasn’t always sure about graduating. Before the pandemic, he had a very difficult family life.
“I saw myself becoming a person I didn’t want to become,” he said.
Coronao and his younger sister lived in an unstable environment where drugs were sold. Her mother was struggling with an addiction and her father was out of the country.
“I wasn’t really motivated,” Coronao said. “I didn’t want to go to school or do anything. I felt lost.”
In the midst of it all, Coronao bravely moved the couple away, going to live with their older sister instead.
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“It was like a new cloud,” he said.
A mental health practitioner from another school informed PRP mental health practitioner Pamela Cotton of the situation. She had been trying to get Coronao and his sister into her office for a while.
“They walked into my office and I think I was like ‘oh my God, it’s Jorge,'” she said.
After meeting the siblings, Cotton’s real work began.
She helped them settle in and found a school therapist in Coronao. From there, she could see them prosper.
“There are other people who think, ‘well, let’s just get them up by their boots’, well, sometimes you have to make sure they have boots on,” Cotton said.
In his senior year, Coronao flourished, doing well in school, leaning on his friends, and even going to prom. Cotton called it the proudest moment of his career.
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“It was the most heartfelt moment I think I’ve ever had as a social worker,” she said.
Graduation is just days away. Coronao said there was a time when graduation wasn’t in the cards.
“Something about being with the people you love the most completely changes you,” he said.
Coronao said now her goals are happiness and her future. He doesn’t know what his next steps will be, but he loves science and math. Cotton said they also discussed western travel and the military.
“Jorge opened the door for him and he had a lot of support, and this young man didn’t walk through the door, he ran through the door,” she said.
Coronao is expected to graduate on Friday, May 27 along with the rest of PRP’s Class of 2022.
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