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A Community of Support When It Mattered Most

For several decades, CIS of Eastern PA site coordinator Nick Camacho has been ingrained into the community of West Reading. As part of his role at Southern Middle School, Nick ensures that the students he works with have the resources needed to be supported at school. Recently, Nick’s connection to the school and the community proved vital for a specific student who needed help.

It started one morning when Mateo’s* homeroom teacher became aware of a video he shared with a friend while absent. In the video, a crying Mateo said his mother died and he was scared. The teacher immediately brought this to the attention of the school’s principal, who, within minutes, identified the student and reached out to Nick for his assistance. 

Nick sprung into action and went directly to Mateo’s home to provide any needed assistance. As a bilingual Spanish speaker, Nick aided with translation when the police arrived to understand better what had happened. 

He came to find out Mateo and his younger sibling were left scrambling when their mother didn’t return home from work. As a single-parent household, the children’s fears were confirmed when the police arrived.

No stranger to grief support, Nick stayed with Mateo and his siblings to help sort out all the necessary details and provide much-needed emotional support. He also contacted the children’s next-of-kin, a grandmother who lived in Indiana. 

The next day in school, Nick collaborated with staff and students at school to create sympathy cards to be delivered to Mateo and his sibling. The whole school rallied around the family to help in their time of need. 

Taking it a step further, Nick worked with the funeral home and was the officiant who delivered the memorial service for Mateo and his family. 

“The work needs to be done; it’s the least we can do,” said Nick.

Nick visited Mateo and his siblings for the next several weeks to bring small gifts or food, serving as the ambassador from the school community.

He used his community relationships to connect with the custody hearing’s judge to help expedite the case, which allowed Mateo and his sibling to ultimately move in with their grandmother in Indiana. Nick then set up therapy for Mateo at his new school to help him continue dealing with grief and loss.

This is one example of how CIS of Eastern PA professionals put all their energy into their work, genuinely caring about the students and families they serve. 

Nick still stays in contact with Mateo and his family in Indiana and wants to be involved with them for years to come.



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