Operation Graduation 2011 Essay: Mariah Cook (Athens, Ala.)

Date: May 22, 2011

Why I Came to Ombudsman

There are many reasons why I came to Ombudsman. Some reasons related to academics and others being personal. In my opinion, Ombudsman is better than public school and I would recommend it to other people. The main reasons I came to Ombudsman was for my son, to work at my own pace, and to graduate on time with a high school diploma. Also, I think that being able to get a high school diploma will really help me in the future, especially for jobs and to be able to get into college.

One of the main reasons I came to Ombudsman was for my son. I found out I was pregnant in the summer of 2010. I wanted to still be able to get a diploma while being able to spend plenty of time with my son when he was born. Ombudsman allowed me to take time off from school to have the baby and come right back to where I stopped without delaying my graduation. I was able to miss three weeks of school and still graduate early. I wanted to graduate as soon as I could so I could complete focus on my son. If it weren’t for Ombudsman I don’t know how I would have graduated at all this year.

Another reason I was really interested in Ombudsman is because of the fact that you can work at your own pace. When I was going to public school I felt like I was never accomplishing anything, because the whole class always had to move slowly so that nobody got left behind. I’ve learned a lot more at Ombudsman, because I was able to take my time on the things I didn’t understand and skip the things I already knew. It is also a better learning environment at Ombudsman because it’s a lot quieter and you can actually focus on your work.

Lastly, another reason I came to Ombudsman was because I wanted to be able to graduate on time. I knew that if I continued to go to public school throughout my pregnancy it would have been a lot harder and I would have been graduating late. I’m thankful that programs like Ombudsman exist. Not only do you get to graduate, but you have the option to graduate with a high school diploma. It was a lot of hard work, but I know that a diploma will help me with getting a job and getting into college in the future. Knowing that I had a baby and was still able to graduate on time with a diploma really makes me feel good about myself.

Overall, I’m happy with my experience at Ombudsman. I’m very glad that an opportunity like Ombudsman opened up to me. I came to Ombudsman for many reasons and these are just a few of them. Ombudsman helped me get on track and has better prepared me for the future.

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