Operation Graduation 2015: Nysa Martinez (DeKalb, Ill.)
My name is Nysa Martinez. This is my fifth year as a high school student. For three years, I attended the DeKalb high school; towards the end of what would’ve been my senior year, I transferred to Ombudsman- after waiting for so long, I was finally able to transfer.
Struggling for many years to get my school work done, I will be graduating; graduating with the class of 2015. At first, I wasn’t so happy with the fact that I wasn’t going to be graduating with my class. I felt like such a failure and all I wanted to do was give up. I suffered from anxiety along with depression. That had a big effect on me while I was in school. I would skip class and lose focus during my classes. Eventually that caused me to lose credit and fall behind. I thought I was done for good. I stopped trying, I would skip school even more and as the days went by, I started to get even more depressed.
I started to harm myself for a while and I just didn’t want to bother with life anymore. I couldn’t face the fact that I disappointed my parents but most of all, myself. I knew that I could’ve tried harder and I could’ve pushed myself so I could finish with my class but that didn’t matter anymore because I was already behind. I just didn’t care anymor e. But then, I heard about Ombudsman. I would talk to my counselor constantly to get me to transfer and I was put on a waiting list. After a few months of waiting, I finally got the news that I would be going to Ombudsman. A huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I was so relieved. It was the end of my senior year, well so I thought it would be. I had so much work to get caught up on; I wasn’t able to graduate with my class in 2013. The depression came back.
I continued to go to Ombudsman. Another school year went by, and I still wasn’t close enough to graduate. I finally gave up. I was done. I dropped out of school for the remaining of that school year and had decided to move and go get my GED. I ended up not moving because I wanted to be with my parents and the cost for classes to get my GED was too much for me. At the end of that school year (2014), my boyfriend had just graduated from Ombudsman. That was his sixth year as a high school student. That made me realize that it didn’t matter how long it took to receive your high school diploma, just as long as you got it. That following school year, I went back to school; back to Ombudsman.
I told myself that this was it. No more giving up! I was fully motivated to get that high school diploma. Even though depression was still affecting on me, I didn’t let that get in my way. As the days went by, the work was less and less. Little by little, the stress went away. I felt like a whole new person. My mind was set on nothing else but that diploma. The day Miss Gilley told me that I would be graduating, I cried with tears of joy. I never thought I would ever hear those words. At that moment, I felt nothing but happiness. I no longer felt like that little girl trapped in the corner just waiting for that monster called ‘depression’ to take over. Just like that, it was gone. I finally felt free like a bird flying out of its cage. Free at last.
I realized how strong I was. After struggling for so long and thinking that suicide was the answer, I finally got through it. I am definitely not the person I was five years ago. I thank Ombudsman for transforming me to the person I am today. I have my job, I am done with school and I can’t wait to see what comes along in the future. I’ve been accepted to attend Kishwaukee College this fall, and I know I’m ready. I’m ready to face the world and face any obstacle that comes in my way.
Even though it took me two more years than I expected to finally get my high school diploma and having that dark shadow hovering behind my back, it was worth it. I finally did it!
Thank you Ombudsman for giving me this great opportunity; and thank you for the amazing teachers that supported me along the way and pushed me to get done. If it weren’t for them, or for Ombudsman, I wouldn’t be here today. Ombudsman gave me strength. Ombudsman definitely saved my life. With this weight lifted off my shoulders, I can finally say that I am a high school graduate of the class of 2015.
Categories: Education Resources, Success Stories
Tags: DeKalb, Graduation, Illinois, Operation Graduation