Operation Graduation 2013: Keith Whitt (Kalamazoo, Mich.)

Date: June 26, 2013

A lot can change in one year. A person’s mindset can fuel them to achieve any of their goals. Although it wasn’t the best of situations that brought me to this school, looking back I would not have had it any other way.

What this school does for their student is gives them a taste of reality. It isn’t the traditional school where your class is viewed as a unit; everyone goes at the same pace and receives their credit at the same time. At YAA you are a class of one and only one. You can decide how long it will take you to complete your work. This school taught me that with hard work and determination, you can reach your goal of graduation faster than you ever thought possible.

This mindset did not only help me in school, but also helped me in life too. It helped me take and accept the responsibilities of real-life to a new level. Ombudsman helped show me that I am in charge of my education, and if I can be in charge of education, that I can take charge of everything else that comes along my path.

As my independence grew this school year I fell into a lot of obstacles. Everyone needs help once in a while. When help was needed it seemed that there was always someone right there to help me out and pick me back up. The staff at this school is just simply incredible. They watch over and let you guide yourself towards education; however, the second you’re in trouble or feel like you’re in over your head, they are right there to help guide you back. Whenever there was a math question Mr. Gorton was right there to help me find a solution. Whenever I had issues in my English courses Mrs. Esterline showed me my errors and taught me the correct approach. Mrs. Krueze would go out of her way to help me with science and if we both didn’t know the answer, we would figure it out together. When I was about ready to give up on my courses, Mr. Hamann would guide me through my work and help me recognize my potential. Ms. Williams helped me put things into perspective when I would get frustrated. Ms. Maria and Mrs. Long assisted me in a lot of life obstacles and helped me unlock my true potential as a leader.

I leave this school with a High School Diploma. I also leave with the confidence all of these teachers have given me. I know if I was about to fall, each and every one of them would have a hand in picking me right back up. I’ve made a lot of mistakes; every student that goes here has to have had at least one! This school has a staff that truly cares for each student and tries to bring the best out of us each and every day. I thank each and every one of you for a great experience at Ombudsman and for preparing me to be a successful person wherever my future takes me.

Categories: Education Resources, Success Stories
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