Operation Graduation 2012: Joeseph Gagnon (Seneca, Mo.)

Date: July 25, 2012

Ombudsman is a second chance, an alternative route. Some of the students are on their last chance. Many had the choice to stay at the regular school or transfer over to our Ombudsman center. This school is an opportunity to set up your future, to ensure you have a future.

For a few of the students Ombudsman is the only hope. There are many reason as to why one of the students would be here, either they dropped out and are coming back to finish Ombudsman is more than willing to help on any circumstance, others the school district just didn’t want them in their school because they were trouble or they were defiant Ombudsman welcomed them with open arms. I was a drop out, the end of my junior year and the first semester of my senior year I was out of school, I returned to the Ombudsman school with one semester to finish a collective of seventeen classes, the odds were never in my favor.

I had the free will of if I wanted to come back or not, I truly needed to finish high school. So the year began, in the face of adversity the school work was much more difficult than it should have been. One thing after another like clockwork things began to go wrong, the first of which was my son. He was the only reason I returned to school, I wanted to be the father I never had I wanted to be there for him and be able to help him through all his difficulties. On January fourteenth he was gone, like a dream that could never be a reality. He was still born at 7:52p.m. This happened ten days before my birthday, I handled this like any parent would I shut down couldn’t function I was a shell of what I had been.

With the support of the teacher and the center director I pulled myself back up and was able to continue. Once I was able to continue I ended up getting quarantined by my dr. which took two more weeks off of the substantially short time I already had. Then I came back was working as hard as I could coming eight hours a day instead of the four, while working full time at Taco Bell. I was arrested for driving with a revoked license on February thirteen. That was my weekend though so it didn’t affect my school to much just my mental ability, I began working at full pace again for a whole month without one thing going wrong.

On April seventeenth my mom passed away, we had always had an iffy relationship but we were working to fix it, she was living with me when she passed. My younger brother had no were else to go, I had to take custody for a temporary time until a better fit family member could be found. Three days later my older brother returned from the military. With both my brothers here we buried our mom. Once the funeral services were complete my older brother took custody of my younger brother and went back to Georgia, and I was alone again. With seventeen classes to go, and even less time to do it in, the odds were not in my favor.

With the teachers and a few friends standing by my side, I came in with a renewed dedication. I finished completely with one day to spare. I had recovered all my credits, I had played the game with the odds against me and I had one with a stroke of luck. The school district did not allow me to walk because I had not met the deadline to walk but I am getting my diploma never-the-less and it’s all thanks to the Ombudsman program and to the amazing teachers they supplied me with. Thank you all, you are truly amazing people.


Categories: Education Resources, Success Stories
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