(NECN: Leslie Gaydos) - Serenity and her younger brother Luiz are two bright and energetic children who are building their futures piece by piece.
"A lot of the children that we work with don't have a lot of trust in people they don't know, so it takes a while for them to get acclimated in the program, and once they are acclimated, they have more trust," Horizons teacher Lisa Crowley says.
Luckily that was case for this brother and sister. Serenity and Luiz have come a long way since arriving at Horizons For Homeless Children in Roxbury, Mass., a place that allows them to learn free from anxiety and for them to be kids.
"Since she has been in preschool, she has learned all the letters in her name," Lisa says about Serenity, adding that she has a big personality. "She will tell you stories like you wouldn't believe. She can go on and on."
Likewise, Luiz is doing just as well in school.
"He loves Playdough, goo, anything that he can touch and play with. He loves books and he's extremely smart," Horizons teacher Carmen Serrano says. "The best thing about Luiz is he loves playing with anything that you give him. He's not afraid of anything."
Were it not for Horizons For Homeless Children, Serenity and Luiz would be eight times more likely to repeat a grade in school, simply for being homeless.
Thankfully, Horizons is giving them a chance at successful childhoods and successful futures.
"A lot of our kids come in here with trauma, and when they come here, they feel safe," Carmen says.