Operation Graduation 2012: Edith Mendez (DeKalb, Ill.)

Date: June 22, 2012

I had heard about Ombudsman through many other students and my younger brother who also attended this school. It felt like it was a good choice for me because Ombudsman is a more hands-on school. I felt that they would work more with me as an individual and not just a number in a class of 30 other students. They would help me find my own methods of better understanding the work. Before coming here I felt like I was just a number in a list that the teachers needed to pass at any cost. I didn’t feel like I was given the attention I needed as a student at the high school.

Since coming to Ombudsman I have learned that we all learn differently and that I wasn’t just another statistic. That I could achieve what was needed if I asked questions and put forth the effort. I also learned that is never too late to become what you could have been, and for me, that was graduating with my diploma. I dropped out, then I had my daughter not long after. I knew I needed to go back and finish what I had started, not just for me, but for my daughter and our future.

My goals for the future are to graduate from a culinary school and start my career as a baker. Hopefully one day I can even own my own shop, which would be my dream. I’d also like to use my career to better help my community and do charities for many organizations. To be able to own my own home and not have to rely on others financially would also be a big goal of mine.

I am going to be the first person in my family to graduate from DeKalb High School, and that to me is by far the biggest joy and accomplishment, not just to me but to my whole family. I want to show my parents that yes I made mistakes, I am human, but I never gave up, and I have Ombudsman to thank for that.

Categories: Education Resources, Success Stories
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