Student Navigator Profile – Lorin Griffitts, McKinney-Vento Student Navigator NTHS/SSHS

1). Can you tell us a bit about your role as the McKinney Vento student navigator at North Thurston High School and South Sound High School and how the program aims to help students there?

“My role as a McKinney Vento student navigator is to support students who qualify for McKinney Vento services due to housing instability. I try to relieve barriers that can keep students from coming to school and that inhibit learning. Support can look like a lot of different things and can vary with every individual student based on circumstances. Some students who are facing housing instability are able to maintain school attendance and manage schoolwork, while others could be facing larger barriers like hunger, not having appropriate clothing, shoes or bedding for sleep, lack of transportation, school supplies, or academic support at home. I strive to build trusting relationships with these students to support attendance, graduation, and a post-high school plan. I also connect students and families to local, state and federal resources that may help them out of housing instability one day.”

2). Do you have any personal experiences/examples of ways NTEF has helped with the needs of students in your schools?

“A recent example was a student who faces housing instability, is deficient in school credits, and dreams of serving our country in the military one day. She was accepted into The Washington Youth Academy where she will earn 8 school credits when she returns to North Thurston Public Schools. This will help her graduate next year and will give her experience to increase her opportunities for her future military career. NTEF provided running shoes, her required interview attire, cadet attire and more so that this student could attend her personal interview, physical and this program. This would not have been possible without the support from NTEF.”

“Another example is a 12th grade student who is unaccompanied, facing housing instability, works side jobs for cash and is on track to graduate from North Thurston Public Schools. His parents have been in and out of his life and through all of his living transitions, he lost or never had his birth certificate, social security number, or identification card. NTEF helped him purchase these important documents so that he could apply for health insurance, food assistance, FAFSA, and pay for college applications. When he successfully completes all of his graduation requirements this year, NTEF will sponsor him to receive a cap and gown for graduation and a yearbook, something he would not have the funds to participate in otherwise. With the support from NTEF, this student’s future is looking bright and promising. Thank you NTEF!”

Thank you so much, Lorin for your dedication and commitment to students of North Thurston Public Schools!