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Proving Mom Wrong

Angel (Skills for Tomorrow) Originally published March 2004

I feel a great sense of accomplishment after moving from doing badly in school to doing great. A couple years ago I was at a school called South High. It is a big school, which means big trouble to me. I was a student that did not want to do anything or take any responsibility. I did not like the teachers there; therefore I did not go to class. My sister lived right across the street from the school so I would go there and ”chill” with my friends when she was at work. I continued to do this until one day my school called my sister’s house and told her that if I did not start coming to school, my mom was going to jail. Right then and there I knew I had to change. My first goal was to get out of that school because I knew I wasn’t going to do anything at South. I went to my social worker for school options; he was going to send me to
the Mall of Americas School. My friend Alisha told me about a school called Skills for Tomorrow. I told myself that when I started this school I was going to stay focused and be successful. I kept my promise because I am doing very well in school.

I took on this challenge originally so I wouldn’t be responsible for my mother going to jail. But honestly, I also did it because my mother said I couldn’t. My mother thought that I was going to come to this school and “get caught up with the boys.” It kind of hurt me to know that my
mother thought of me that way. This gave me encouragement, because I didn’t want my mother to feel that way about me. I wanted to straighten up so badly, that I ignored every thing except what I had to do. In school I started out doing it for my mom, but after a while this school taught me that I have to do it for myself.

It was challenging because I was in a new environment. I am a shy person around new people because I don’t know what they think of me. I stayed quiet and that was a problem for me. Teachers expect me to talk more. It was also hard getting to trust people. We have teamwork activities and I was kind of afraid to let people lead me and help me. After a while I started
getting use to it and I started connecting more. What was also challenging was some of the work they gave me. It required lots of typing and I felt I was not going to get it done. I also had problems at home. My sister’s house caught on fire and all my stuff was in there. I felt like giving up at that point. The school brought me things that I needed: clothes, for example, which gave me hope.

I made it through because I knew that I was important and that school is a pathway to my future. I just stayed focused and believed that I could do it. I kept my mind on my work and strived for better. I kept up with my assignments and I never gave up. I gave myself encouragement and I got some from my mom when she saw me doing well.

What I got out of this is a better life. A life that is going to fulfill its dreams and goals. I’ve made the honor roll every term since I have been at Skills for Tomorrow. I have also gotten the perfect attendance award each time. I now know that if I put my mind to it I can do anything I want. I’ve gotten support and encouragement, and I value my integrity. I am now continuing to
do well so that I can stay on the honor roll, to make my mother happy and to know that I made the choice to change my life and fulfill my dream.

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