You never know what you’ll discover when you throw 70 schools in a bucket and let some kids pick one at random but that’s how you seem to find the best stories.
This month fate took us to World Of Inquiry where one student’s story began in Aibonito, a small mountain town in Puerto Rico.
Jadiel DeJesus left his home two years ago to come to Rochester because of Hurricane Maria.
“It was hard cause it lasted for 24 to 30 hours. My neighbors like some of them lost their house,” said DeJesus. “My grandma, my brother, he fully lost everything.”
Jadiel admitted he was nervous and shy when he arrived at World of Inquiry. “I didn’t know anybody and I didn’t have any friends. I only had my sister,” he said. That’s when one of his teachers, Lindsay Clifford, had an idea.
“I was like, ‘Hey do you wanna play tennis?’ He was like I’ve never played. I was like it’s going to be okay,” said Clifford, World Of Inquiry tennis coach. “I may have thrown in some t-shirt incentives.”
“She was like ‘Hey we need new players on the team,’ said DeJesus. “I could take a chance on it cause I wanted to see the experience of playing tennis.”
“Being in an environment that’s new and having to assimilate with the culture and people it was pretty hard but we make him feel welcome, ” said World Of Inquiry junior Stallion Hill.
“For a kid especially his age to have to go through those real-life scary situations and then come out with a positive– it’ll probably make me start crying right now– a positive aspect and view on life is amazing,” said Clifford.
Hurricane Maria destroyed a lot of things but Jadiel DeJesus’ spirit, wasn’t one of them.
“It’s like a little bit of peace,” said DeJesus. “Come out here, practice, go home, eat. Being out here is the best.”