OMAHA, Neb. — KETV Feature
Swanson’s life has been dedicated to lending a helping hand, especially for families and kids in need.
“He’s, honestly one of the most influential people I’ve had in the past three years of my life, a mentor,” said Jordan, one of the many students Swanson has helped.
Lovingly known as “Swanny” to the CUES School System family, made up of Sacred Heart, Holy Name and All Saints. As Director of Family and Student Support, Swanny serves all three schools.”We serve as an anchor, I believe, to the neighborhoods here in North Omaha and East Omaha,” Swanny said.
Over the past three years, Swanny has tirelessly supported hundreds of refugee and immigrant families, helping them navigate life in a new country. “Families that may be struggling, paying rent-paying bills, because of all the things that are going on right now, certainly in our society, in our country, and in our world,” he said.
Many families speak little to no English, but they know a reliable education for their child is a must. “Students perform better academically and socially and emotionally when homes are stable, and more supportive of the opportunity to go to school,” Swanny said.
Going beyond the classroom to build relationships with kids like Jordan. Who used his love for soccer to get involved in a local team.
“I jumped at that opportunity. And he always came and checked up on me, you know, how’s soccer going?” Jordan said.
He said without Swanny’s impact, he wouldn’t be where he is now. “He workes relentlessly hard, I mean, relentlessly, to make sure that we’re safe, cared for and that you know, nothing happens to us,” Jordan said.
It’s not just the students, Gheien Meba has four sons at Holy Name, he said Swanny is his “go-to” person for anything. “He put me on a program called Getting Ahead, where you have all those education about how to manage your finance, give information for poverty, how to get out of poverty,” Meba said.
Creating a bond between Swanny and his family. “Every time I’m here, I’m like, That’s my new family. And every time the boys are here, that’s their new home,” Meba said.