Return to Learning: Group helps students work through challenges of distance learning

Return to Learning

STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — From a lack of internet access, child care and transportation, many students in need face a number of challenges when it comes to distance learning. 

As an unemployed, full-time Delta College student, with ADHD, Michael Gonzalez said thanks to a stroke of luck and a strong network of supporters, he’s now able to learn virtually.

“I find myself extremely lucky even though I still have so much to do,” Gonzalez said.

He said when the pandemic first forced schools to adopt distance learning, his 15-year-old computer broke and he had no way to learn and complete his courses.

With his parents’ help, Gonzalez ordered a new computer but with COVID-19 delays, the shipping date kept getting pushed back.

That’s when the college’s Radio and Television Department stepped in.

“Before I got the computer I have now, I’ve been borrowing a computer from the school,” he explained.

Gonzalez said he doesn’t take that help for granted.

“Actually come together as a whole community. Right, because all our kids are suffering,” Aaron Chapman explained.

Chapman, the lead academic mentor at non-profit organization Improve Your Tomorrow, works with middle school to college-aged young men of color in Stockton.

Chapman said he’s seen kids from all financial backgrounds cope with all kinds of issues.

“Some of them have to kinda help mom out a little, out more a little bit now that they’re at home, because they’re older. ‘Cause I deal with, for the most part, with high school students,” Chapman explained. “Students definitely need stuff like hot spots, like if the school district could give every student a hot spot.”

By reaching out to students, whether it’s through a phone call or even a video game, Chapman said he and other mentors are able to link families in need with guidance, resources and advice — such as time management.

“Everybody has to have a full community effort if we’re gonna actually see our students succeed at this time,” Chapman said. 

That full community effort is a factor Gonzalez is very much aware of. 

When asked what he would’ve done without the support he’s gotten thus far, Gonzalez responded, “I think I’d be in a much tougher situation.”

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