With help, former troublemaker now on to college

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Boston Globe -- For a time, Irlando Goncalves wanted to be “that dude,” the guy who got attention in school for all the wrong reasons. He and his family lived on Hendry Street in Dorchester’s Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood, a place thick with the pitfalls and snares of urban environs. He was skipping class, clowning around, mouthing off, and getting suspended, barely squeaking through middle school, which educators say is one of the last places to catch students before they fall too far behind or drop out.

Then, one day during the summer before his ninth-grade year, Goncalves decided to stop getting in trouble and “change people’s perspective of me.” It was a decision made with a clarity of focus that escapes most adults.

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