Operation Graduation 2011 Essay: Elizabeth Coulter (Forest Park, Ohio)

Date: May 22, 2011

How I Made It to Graduation

It’s been a rough school year, so many things went on that really could have cost me my graduation.  I’m Elizabeth “Lizzy” Coulter, a second year Ombudsman student from Mt. Healthy High School in Cincinnati.  I was scheduled through my high school counselor to graduate a semester behind my class in December of 2011, but I knew I wouldn’t make it that long.

See, in my family it’s me, my mom, my step-dad, my three sisters, my brother, a fellow Ombudsman student, and my granny and granddad.  We are a tight family that supports each other, so I feel when someone in my family is having a problem it is my problem too.  I spent this year going back and forth between my mom’s house and my sister’s.  My sister’s kids have been ill, in and out of the hospital, and I stepped in to help.  Then, later my mom went into the hospital, and I had to go help her.  Having only one car in the family, if you went somewhere to help, sometimes you were stuck there until someone could come and get you.

Times got hard and I was working late hours to put food in the house, and I was giving up money to help pay bills, and put gas in the car.  At one point we really thought we were going to lose our house.  That really bothered me because I felt like if we do, what’s next?  It became hard to focus on school, and it began to bring me down.  I would miss school because I was depressed and feeling like I couldn’t help and finish school.  Then came an intervention with my teachers, Mr. Glass and Mrs. Hornback because they knew I could be doing a lot better.

I realized that my education was more important than anything in this world.  I knew I wasn’t going to be able to graduate in time because of all my absences.  That is when Mrs. Lyons, the Operation Manager, stepped in to speak with me.  I was 100% honest with her about what was going on.  I let her know how important it was for me to graduate this year instead of next.  She let me know that yes, family is first, but so is my education.  She showed me that I can do it if I just put my mind to it.  She told me if I worked my butt off I could graduate this May with my class, no problem.

So that’s what I did.

I worked three times as hard so that I could graduate.  Sleeping in class and all those absences had pushed me back on my credits, so I had to earn them all back plus the ones I needed to graduate.  I am here today all caught up and on track to graduate May 25th.  If it wasn’t for my teachers, Mrs. Lyons, and my mom pushing me, telling me to go , so that I can make something out of my life, I don’t know where I would be.  I appreciate everything my teachers went through just to help me out, when they could of gave up on me from the start.  My future looks much brighter, and who knows where it might lead me, maybe even college!

Categories: Education Resources, Success Stories
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