Operation Graduation 2010 is in Full Swing!

Date: May 25, 2010

We recently asked our 2010 graduates to share their Ombudsman experiences by writing essays and recording videos for Operation Graduation, our annual celebration of students who reach the milestone of earning their high school diploma. The essays we’ve seen so far are truly inspiring.

This year’s graduates include aspiring nurses, lawyers, teachers and — if things work out as planned— a future member of the U.S. Olympic track team.

We are hearing from students who are the first in their families to graduate from high school, students who will graduate early because they were allowed to work at their own pace and students who have developed an interest in helping others through service learning projects.

Lafayette, Ga., center graduate Samantha Johnson, writes, “I love the community service we do. We help so many organizations and so many people, and it just makes us feel like we’re actually making a difference out there.”

Many students wrote about the positive learning environment and the support of their teachers:

My favorite thing about Ombudsman is the teachers. I have never had one-on-one [attention] with teachers the way I do here. —Megan Hales, Calhoun, Ga., center

I came to Ombudsman because of my lack of focus on my class work. I had trouble staying on task because I was bored. When I came here I bettered myself. I got focused, and now I am graduating on May 21, 2010. My goals for the future are to attend college at Henderson State, run track and try out for the Olympic team. —Ryan Thompson, Forrest City, Ark., center

I like Ombudsman a lot because I can work at my own pace, and I get great help from my teachers.  I’m really glad you came up with this program because I focus a lot better here and I get to look forward to graduation. —Kendall Barnett, Limestone, Ala., center

One DeKalb, Ga., center graduate, Calli Cantrell, heard about the program during her freshman year of high school, when she found out she was pregnant. A guidance counselor encouraged her to consider attending Ombudsman.  She writes about the experience in her essay:

I was hesitant at first because I always thought alternative schools were for ‘bad kids.’ After I started failing almost all of my classes, I decided to attend the following year and I loved it. I haven’t left since.  Ombudsman has helped me so much. Thanks to Ombudsman and my teachers, I’m graduating a whole year early. It not only helped me start my life, but it also helped me choose the right future for me and my daughter.

We are proud of every 2010 graduate, and we hope you will take a moment to visit our Facebook Page to read more from Ombudsman students.

Want to see all of our student stories? Click here to  subscribe to the Operation Graduation 2010 RSS feed.

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