Operation Graduation 2013: Dallas Boehm (Elgin, Ill.)

Date: June 5, 2013

My name is Dallas Boehm, and I’m and happy to finally say that I have successfully completed high school. Through these four short years, I have leaned a lot about myself, what it’s like to enter adulthood, and how to treat others with respect. When I first started my high school career, I was a student at St. Edward Central Catholic High school. I wasn’t really happy about it at first but, later, I learned to get used to it. I started meeting new people, making new friends, and learning how to work on a schedule. Unfortunately, I started to let my friends become more important than my school work.

When I was at school, all I ever did was talk to my friends. I would neglect my homework, not study for tests, and even fall asleep in class. I would always be tired because I would be out all night with friends. I just did not care about what was truly important: my grades. I realized this was not productive. I tried to come with ways to avoid my friends and try to pay more attention to my school work. As a result, I got my first job. I figured that working would take up a good sum of time after school and on weekends; this is when I’d usually hang out with my friends. But then, I learned that even getting a job did not solve my problems. I would be scheduled to work almost forty hours a week while still trying to manage school. On the days that I wasn’t working, I told myself that those would be the times I would study. Unfortunately, I would be so tired from working that I would just end up coming home and falling asleep. To add to this stress, I was losing my friends. Life was getting tough on me.

Falling behind in school was not a choice I ever sought to make. I felt like I was in a constant depression because I was always tired, and over-worked, and had no one to really talk to about it. Due to this stress, by junior year, I started having severe panic attacks and always found myself looking at the negative side of everything around me. I couldn’t concentrate in class, my grades were horrible, and I felt as though my job was not even worth the time of day anymore. Thankfully, I managed to pass eleventh grade by the skin of my teeth. But then senior year came and I wasn’t ready at all for another year of high school. By about November of 2012, I just stopped caring about everyone and everything. I was anti-social with almost everyone, I got involved with a bad group of people, and graduation was the least of my concerns.

Later in the school year, after first semester finals, my guidance counselor informed me that I had failed two of my essential senior classes. It didn’t really come as a shock to me, since I didn’t study or have any direction in my life at the time. He had asked me what I wanted to do about the situation. I told him that I had no clue. He told me many of options and one of them was Ombudsman. I had never heard of the program before then. Unfortunately attending Ombudsman meant leaving St. Edward’s, I felt a sense of hope for myself. I realized right then and there that St. Edward’s was not truly getting me anywhere due to my depression, so I was willing to try anything. Once I had came to Ombudsman many things in my life cleared up. I was really getting into learning again like how I used to be, I looked forward to coming to school, I was getting the sleep I needed to feel mentally healthy again, and most of all, graduation was actually a reality again.

Overall, Ombudsman really got me back on my feet again and gave me a sense of direction. Though I was only here for one short semester, I really enjoyed everything about the program. I was able to see what I needed to get done in order to earn my class credits, work at my own pace, and get feedback almost right away. When I first started at Ombudsman I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was happy with myself just knowing that I was trying to make an effort to turn my life around. I learned a lot at Ombudsman and I would recommend the program to anyone that might be struggling at a typical high school.

Categories: Education Resources, Success Stories
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