Operation Graduation Essay: I Didn’t Know if I Wanted to Finish School at All (Dundee, Ill.)

Date: May 16, 2014

Ombudsman has honestly saved my life as far as where I stand in my future. Before Ombudsman I was in and out of hospitals, attended a rehab facility, and was contemplating whether I even wanted to finish school at all. I am pleased to say I will graduate this year. There to see me will be many who doubted me, very proud, and in my hand a greatly appreciated and well deserved diploma.

For a very long time, before attending Ombudsman, I took school as a joke. I struggled a lot with my emotions, anxiety, depression and, frankly, just being a punk. I ditched almost everyday and was disrespectful to teachers for no good reason. Throughout my high school years, prior to Ombudsman, I was dealing with a lot of family issues: my step parents’ own problems, my grandmother’s death, intimate relationships, my own anger issues, and just where I belonged in the world. I liked to mask these feelings with alcohol and bad relationships, which only made me feel worse in the end. This all affected my education terribly.

Since attending Ombudsman, my attendance has improved tremendously, my grades have all gone up, and I actually enjoyed coming . . . well, most of the time. But I wouldn’t be where I am without the support I’ve gotten from teachers and family—most of all, my mother.

Anyone familiar with me knows my relationship with my mother has been very rocky my whole life. I lost my real mother at a young age and never knew my real father. My aunt and uncle took me in as their own at age 3. Since then, my mother (aunt) and I have had a lot of difficulties and hardships. My mom and dad (aunt and uncle) divorced when I was 15, which had a very profound affect on me. I blamed both of them for a long time. My mother has never been easy on me, and, back then, I resented her so much for it. Today, I’m strong. Now, I know a great deal and can handle a lot of difficult things with a smile on my face because of her. She is my hero. She has become my motivation, along with my grandmother who passed a couple years back and my crazy family who I am proud to call mine. I cherish and appreciate every time my mom says she’s proud of me.

Being someone who gets distracted easily and lets little things get to my head, regular high school was not the place for me. Being able to work at my own pace, ask questions about anything whenever I needed, in a quiet environment, has been, to say the least, amazingly helpful. All this has been somewhat of a relief. My appreciation and thanks goes to my high spirited, awesome, and very funny teachers– Mrs. Fay and Mrs. Brevik. Because of Ombudsman, I now have the opportunity to pursue the career I want. I have many talents, and I think it’s time I do something about them.

For a very long time, I was always trying to prove myself to the people that doubted me. Today, I’m graduating for me; I’m going to go to college, for me; I’m going to keep my job, for me. And I’m going to love myself, for me, not because I know that’s the right thing to do, but because I know I truly deserve it.


Categories: Education Resources, Success Stories
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