Operation Graduation 2011 Essay: Rachael Buckner (Naperville, Ill.)

Date: May 22, 2011

Graduation, something i thought would never be in the cards for me. There I was, already a senior in high school. The previous three years were but a faded memory, and I could not believe that I had made it to that point.

My throat closed up at the thought of graduation. I graduate, but then what? What if I don’t even graduate? My stress level was sky high, this was too much pressure. I found myself in the hospital a few weeks into senior year. My life was crumbling apart in the palm of my hands. I was that stressed that I ended up in there?

It was at that moment, I thought, that there was no way I was going to graduate. There I was, in a deep, dark hole of discouragement. How was I ever going to have enough credits by May?

Looking back at my senior year now, I can swear that I was touched by an angel. Second semester came around and I got a sense of hope, there was a program that could help me
catch up on my credits. This meant graduation for me, with that in mind, I was determined.

This was my life, this was my future.

I loved ombudsman the first day I started. I liked independent work, I could work at my own pace, and get one on one attention from the teachers. The program boosted my confidence, I was motivated everyday that I walked into those doors. I enjoyed going everyday, I felt productive, I even liked it more than my cosmetology class.

It came down to my last program, I flew through it. I was finally done, I had made it and was one of the first to be done in my class. My heart beat was fast and loud as i got up out of my seat, I was sure everyone could hear it. I handed the finished assignments over to my teacher, she looked up with a smile, held out her hand and said, “congratulations!”.

My body released the tense feeling that it had been holding for the past year. I have done it, and I can’t believe that I doubted myself. Ombudsman has been a miracle for me, it hasn’t only given me confidence and my diploma, it has given me a future.

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