Operation Graduation: Jashuna Richard (Valdosta, Ga.)

Date: May 27, 2013

GRADUATION is something that anybody should be able to rejoice about because it means A LOT to me. I’ve worked hard for 12 years to get where I am now. Therefore, I can officially say I’m done with school. I can walk around and say I actually graduated from Ombudsman Educational Services. It wasn’t easy but I made it through. There were a few stumbles here and there but over all I made it so I’m very happy and overjoyed. All my family will come from different states to watch me walk across the stage and all will be proud of me.  Ironically, a lot of people said that I wouldn’t make it and I’ve proved all those people wrong.  In about two weeks I will be walking across the stage with the biggest grin on my face.

First of all, one thing that made me stay in school and decide to graduate is the military. Since I’ve been a little girl I’ve wanted to join the Air Force just like my dad). He was always my hero, so I wanted to do everything he did to be successful. Without a high school education or a diploma I couldn’t be a part of the military. So, I couldn’t let a little ole diploma stop me from becoming someone I always wanted to be. I couldn’t let that diploma be the reason why I can’t be successful. So, that was one of the things that pushed me the most since I’m very glad I tried. Now, I’m about to be walking across the stage in about two weeks!

Another thing that kept me focused was my mother and grandmother (they always made me come to school). Even when I didn’t want to come, they forced me out my bed. They preached to me all the time about how I wouldn’t be able to do anything without a diploma. They always
said, “Fast food establishments are not going to pay all your bills when you get older”. I never really believed them when I was younger. I thought they were just talking like all parents do, it’s true. As I look at the world today, you have to a high school diploma to even work at fast food establishments such as McDonald’s. So, with their constant daily “encouragement” I pushed harder for them to stop annoying me.

In my opinion, Ombudsman is the greatest school because it gave me a second chance. Even though I’m graduating on time it’s still a second chance. That graduation test was scary me and I had so many questions afterwards. For example, why pass all then have to pass a graduation test that most people struggle with anyway? When I first heard about Ombudsman, my teachers were telling me to stay at Valdosta High School and just wait and see if I passed the graduation test. Well I’m glad I didn’t wait because I passed Language Arts, Science and Social Studies, but
some how I didn’t pass my Math. Most people won’t admit it but I feel like this school saved me. Luckily, my entrance into the program was perfect timing because now I’m graduating. I would like to thank the Ombudsman Staff which includes the following dynamic educators:  Mr. Amos, Mr. Harvey, Mrs. May, Mr. Wooten, Mr. Woodward, Mrs. McCreary, Mrs. Watkins, Mr. Wood, Mr. King, Dr. Shaw and last but not least Mr. Wright. I applaud each of you for not giving up on me and helping me push through.

Moreover, one thing that happened to me during high school that I thought I would never see was me being able to be a contestant on the hit television show, “The Voice”. When I first tried out it was about 10,000 people that were there to just audition, but only 36 of us survived. As I started getting further into the auditions I began to think what if this isn’t meant for me? What if someone is a better singer then me? What if I’m not picked to be on TV? Those thoughts wandered through my mind all the time, but I still hung in there. Even though I wasn’t on TV I was in the newspaper and featured on the news.  The experience made me happy to be able to put my community on the map for something good!  I relate back to that all the time because my family, friends, teachers, and peers all told me not to give up and keep doing the show. Guess what? I’m going to audition for “The Voice” again next year!

In conclusion, there were many reasons why I should have never graduated. A few of them includes the perception of others about me and my poor decision-making skills.  I was getting in trouble (I lied, cheated, fought and stole). However, when I got my life together I realized nothing was more important to me than graduating.  I could make all those people furious because I’ve made it when they said I wouldn’t. Most importantly, I’ve done it for me by realizing that at the end of the day I had to make myself happy. My Ombudsman Educational Services Diploma makes this evening, May 29, 2013 a spirited point in my life and this ladies and gentlemen is “What Graduation Means to ME”.


Categories: Education Resources, Success Stories
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