Operation Graduation 2015: Esteban Orozco (AZ Charter Central)

Date: June 5, 2015

High School, the place where you decide to start planning for your career and getting serious in life. For me, High School was not the best four years of my life. Many things happened in my life from 9th to 11th grade which made High School difficult. I thought school was just a waste of time, just like many other kids who went through the same things I did or just never tried in school. Teachers and advisers always thought what I went through was a joke and never wanted to help me. The decisions I made were not always the best and I will always regret them.

First off, the loss of my brother made my Freshman year the most difficult time of my life and made me want to give up. Losing my brother made me feel like being in class was useless. As a result, I started cutting class and gave teachers a hard time with any little thing they would ask me to do. The loss of a family member effected me to the point where I felt unable to earn my credits, because this event was tragic and unexpected. With only one month left in school, already behind in class work and credits, I decided to not deal with the pressure. The only choice I thought I had made me want to stay away from everyone and everything. My state of mind was a mixture of depression, anger, stress and other negative emotions.

Senior year, I decided to start changing the way I was and get my life back together by going to my classes as much as I could and doing the work. English class was my only good class because the rest of my classes, no matter how much I tried, I failed. The teachers and advisers didn’t want to help. They believed I was a hopeless case. I felt that no matter what happened, nothing would change. I had given up completely and thought it was the end. That summer, I started going to drop off my girlfriend at her summer school, because she was missing a few credits. Seeing her fix things motivated me to do better in life. I didn’t want to go to Pueblo High school anymore, so a friend told me about Ombudsman.

Ombudsman Charter Central was the best school I’ve ever attended. The teachers gave me hope to actually go far and they challenged me to bring the best out of me and to finish all of my classes. They didn’t see a hopeless kid; they saw a person with potential. With only 15 credits, I sat down every day of the year and even stayed two sessions to finish all of my classes and enrichments. I was given the opportunity to make a difference and to work towards a great life. Nine months later, I’m proud to say I’m graduating and starting the life I’ve always wanted to achieve.

In spite of all the challenges and detours I had during High School, I finally reached this milestone. I have learned to never blame others for my personal problems, but instead to look forward and continue towards my goals. Even though my brother passed away and I would have loved for him to be here, I know that is impossible. I also know he would have been proud. I’m very happy and excited that I finally made it, maybe not with my class, but I made it. I’m grateful for all of the people who supported me and stood by my side during this process, and especially for my teachers from Ombudsman who gave me the opportunity to succeed.

Categories: Education Resources, Success Stories
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