Student Stories: "Places" by Chris George (Limestone, Ala.)

Date: October 10, 2011

The following student essay was submitted by our Limestone, Ala., Center Director Heather Brown.

As a diagnostic assignment, I asked our students to write about a place.  Student Chris George submitted the following essay. At the beginning of the year, Chris told me that he didn’t intend to graduate, in fact, he said he saw no reason for graduating high school. Maybe he has changed his mind.

Everybody has that one place they hate with a passion. That place that you dread going to, even when you have to go there every day of your life. But that place might be a place that could help you do something with the rest of your life. That place, for me, is my school, Ombudsman. It is a different learning environment than a regular high school, but with its own distractions. But Ombudsman is a helpful place, with helpful teachers, and a superior learning environment.

Ombudsman is an alternative route that helps students who are at risk of dropping out of high school. This center features shorter hours, and all of the course work is done on computers. The use of computers itself, is very helpful as it permits students to learn of their own free will, and at a pace that is beneficial to them. The lesser amount of hours helps students that have jobs, or don’t get enough sleep at night.

The teachers at Ombudsman are very helpful. They understand that most of the students at our school are might have problems learning things in a certain way. The teachers here provide help for those who ask, and they put up with everything that these students do. Our teachers are able to communicate with us in ways that teachers at a regular could not. Our Ombudsman instructors are laid back, and are able to cope with all of our difficulties. That is a lot more than a normal person could handle, but it helps to know that our teachers here care about us. It’s easier for them to get through to us and for us to get through to them, because there aren’t that many students in one session.

The learning environment at Ombudsman is very different from a regular high school environment. Since there aren’t that many students in one session it’s easier for us to ask questions, and to take our time when we have a problem. Ombudsman provides an education that the students can actually feel successful about. We are all at risk students here, but that’s why it’s easier for us. The people here don’t judge each other, because everyone understands the other’s situation.

I hate school, more than anything in the world. But I look forward to coming to Ombudsman, because maybe this place can help me turn my life around. If I can graduate from here, I will have something to finally be proud of. It will be very hard for me, and I feel like quitting every day. But I have to finish this. Even if it takes me five years, I can’t give this up.

Categories: Alternative Education, Dropout Prevention & Recovery, News, Success Stories
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