Operation Graduation: Michael Hollis (Seneca, Mo.)

Date: May 28, 2013

My name is Michael Hollis. I came to the Ombudsman half way through my senior year. The reason I transferred was because I was struggling in chemistry. I needed every credit to graduate, and at Seneca chemistry is mandatory.  I am very thankful there was an Ombudsman at Seneca because without it I would not have made it.

When I arrived at the Ombudsman center there was a lot more to it than I thought. I have never taken so many notes in my life.  Ombudsman offered me a better way to learn. There is more one on one with the teachers, and you work at your own pace.  I showed up and worked my butt off for four hours everyday. My favorite thing about Ombudsman is there are no distractions. I am so focused when I am here. I’ve never been so confident in my English and chemistry classes. It is the same stuff you learn at the high school just broken down better for you to understand.

Ombudsman also helped me with more then just making it to graduation: building a resume, filling out college applications, tax return sheets, and many other things made me feel more confident for graduation. I would not know the first step to any of those things without Ombudsman.  Now I know where I am going, and what I am going to do after I graduate.

Graduating is my biggest accomplishment so far in my life. I will be the first in my family to graduate. My whole family is so proud of me. The whole way I told kept telling them I wanted to quit, and get my GED. I didn’t see the difference at the time, but a diploma sounds way better now. I can now walk with my friends and fellow classmates at graduation which is a big deal to me.

I have huge plans after I graduate. I am joining the Army, and I am going to do electrical work on vehicles. I went to Crowder College through the high school for Automotive Technology for two years. I passed my ASE electrical certification test. The instructor, Mr. Smith, said I was the only one of his students to ever pass that test, and he has been there for many years. The Army will pay for my college. I am going into law school. I hope to be a paralegal and from there I will work my way up to lawyer.  After I retire from the military in 20 years, I will have that check coming in every month plus I will get to work as a lawyer and get all those benefits for life. I want to be successful, and not have just a job the rest of my life, I want a career.

That’s why to me graduating is everything. The end depends upon the beginning, and graduation is the beginning.  Ombudsman is one of the best things that have happened to me. All the students here are here for different reasons, but everyone here is trying to get there education. For most of them, without being able to join Ombudsman, they would not have made it.


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