‘They treated me like I mattered’

Teachers, scholarship help homeless student stay in school


The day Hope Alvarado became homeless, it was snowing.

She was 15 years old when she left home after being punched by her father for using a curse word.

A father who was in and out of her life, she said.

“My nose was bleeding. I thought he broke my nose,” Alvarado said, recalling how she walked through the snow from her Albuquerque home and called a teacher for help.

Mary Dolch, a teacher with Albuquerque Public Schools, took Alvarado’s call and together they looked for a homeless shelter.

“She had no food, she had nothing,” Dolch recalled.

Alvarado said there was a lot of domestic violence in her home and it began to affect her at school.

“It was eating me alive,” she said, adding that she struggled emotionally until she found help from teachers.

“I went and picked her up on my way to work every morning,” Dolch said, taking Alvarado to school from the shelter. It was an act that Alvarado said motivated her to keep going.

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Categories: Education