Jon Borrelli: Focused Forward
Jon Borrelli has focused his attention on his dreams and is this week's Student of the Week.
Jon Borrelli, 16, a junior at North Andover High School, is eager to do his best this year and turn around his outlook on how important his high school career is.
Borrelli moved to North Andover from Haverhill in the sixth grade. Transitioning from schools was very difficult for him. In middle school, Borrelli had negative social interactions with his peers. As Borrelli entered high school, he began to adjust, and his experience began to improve.
“I have been working with Jon since his ninth grade year and have seen so much growth over these past three years," said Michelle O'Leary, school psychologist. "Jon struggled his first year of high school, but with each year, he focused more and more on being a student."
In his freshman year at NAHS, Borrelli missed quite a bit of school, due to dealing with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. He had to come to terms with his depression and accepting that he had to be proactive in taking care of himself.
“Staying busy is essential to maintaining my mental health," Borrelli said. "I understand now that I need to reach out for help in certain situations."
When Borrelli came back to school his freshman year, he went to the TEAMM program at NAHS. This is where he went to become grounded and to de-stress himself. The program helped him transition back into school.
“The teachers really made me feel comfortable and treated me like family,” said Borrelli.
This year, Borrelli has completely turned around his attitude about his academic standing. He has put forth all of his effort in improving his grades and finishing with his high school diploma. He has been more engaged in his classes this year as well.
“Jon has not only become a successful student, he is also a great role model to his peers," O'Leary said. "He always gives good advice to students in our class and is able to process situations in a mature and helpful manner with his peers. It has been such a joy to work with Jon and I am looking forward to see what his future holds."
Borrelli wants to be a cosmetologist and work either in New York or in Los Angeles in the future. He has always taken an interest in hair styling. He is sure that he wants to move out of New England to pursue his career.
Since his freshman year, Borrelli has also been a member of the Gay/Straight Alliance. Borrelli has noticed that this year is more promising than the past two. More people are involved. The GSA is currently working on an assembly that will hopefully run this year. Part of the GSA is students talking about their own experiences and how to deal with personal struggles.
“Our goal is to promote awareness and to help others be comfortable with themselves,” Borrelli said.
Borrelli is most proud of his personal strength. He knows that no matter what he goes through, he will come out even stronger on the other side.
“Never give up on your dreams," he said. "They are what make you succeed."