This student has just learned that the Freedom Writers are going to stay together for senior year after all, and feels grateful that the group she considers a family is going to remain intact. After this student’s mother left her family without warning, she found herself alone with her father and her sisters. When her father remarried and had new children, he soon abandoned his older children to focus on his new family. Therefore, this student and her sister moved in with their aunt, who also ended up abandoning the two girls. As a result, the two sisters had to separate, and this student is now living at a cousin’s house.
This student has experienced persistent lack of caring and stability in her family life, as she has moved from adult to adult in the hope that one of them would actually commit to becoming a long-term presence in her life. By accompanying her throughout her years of high school, the Freedom Writers have provided this measure of stability and reliability that is so visibly lacking in other aspects of her life.
The Freedom Writers’ persistent presence and support has proven stronger than her biological family ties, and she feels that Ms. Gruwell has played the role of a substitute mother. She feels that, overall, the Freedom Writers have helped her become stronger.
The fact that this student considers Ms. Gruwell a mother figure reveals the deep love and trust that they share, as Ms. Gruwell makes her feel protected and cared for.