My journey to graduate from high school was far from traditional. It had its curves, bumps, and road blocks, but they all led me to walking across the stage- and I wouldn't have it any other way.
My beginning years of school were pretty typical. I was a good student and got good grades. Once I entered high school, though, is when things started to get more difficult. My family moved around a lot, which resulted in me changing schools about every three months. Each move resulted in me falling behind more and more. It also made it very difficult for me to excel in basketball, which was my true passion. All of these things made school very hard for me and not something that I really enjoyed.
During my senior year, I decided that school wasn't for me. I was going to drop out and go to the military. My family didn't support this decision, which made things even harder. I didn't listen to them, and dropped out to join. Joining the military was my dream. Little did I know, that that dream would be shattered without my high school diploma. I couldn't join any branch without it. Now, without a job, high school diploma, or my family's support, I found myself homeless. I felt lost—unsure of how to get my life back on track.
Then, a meeting with an old high school counselor changed my life. She told me about a charter school program called Christel House DORS, which helps students who have dropped out of school obtain their high school diploma. I applied, ready to take the first step towards getting back on the right track.
Then came another curve ball came. Now, an adult dealing with adult issues, I found it hard to attend school. I was dealing with family problems, relationship issues, and a variety of other things that seemed to always to get in the way. Making school a priority had become very difficult.
I decided to give up...again. But, this time it was different. The staff at Christel House DORS were relentless. They are used to dealing with students who had dropped out. They were calling me every day, showing up at my work, and even the basketball court where I played on the weekends. They refused to let me give up. When they showed up at my house to support me, I realized that not graduating from high school was not an option any more. I knew I had a support team at Christel House DORS that would help me overcome any challenge that came my way. It was a completely different experience from years ago at my local high school.
On June 3rd, not only did I walk across the stage, I also gave the graduation speech. Despite all my challenges, I have made it! I am now a high school graduate and have all sorts of possibilities open to me that I've never had before.
This month, thousands of high school students will graduate from charter schools across the county. We are so impressed by everything that these students have accomplished and can’t wait to see what the future holds. Check back here every day to see a new charter school graduate in our 30 Days of Grad series. Want to share your story? Join the conversation using #30DaysOfGrad.