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I have a dream of being wealthy and living with little to no regrets, so for me to finish school is a blessing. It’s not just for me, but for my mom, my deceased father and my family.
Getting my diploma was always important to me, but when I was in high school, the situation I found myself in made it more difficult. I was subject to a principal that was trying to prove a point to her students. After being suspended for three days, I was looking forward to coming back to school on Friday, but I was told to leave the campus instead. They thought they had suspended me for five days and I argued that the miscommunication was not my fault, so I shouldn’t have to pay for it. Instead of leaving the campus, I ignored the principal’s authority and went to the homecoming game. They saw me and expelled me.
At that time, I was 18 years young and a junior with a promising future. That was something I didn’t see at the time. I just wanted to be happy. Instead of using my time wisely, I went straight to the streets where money isn’t hard to come by. I didn’t think about tomorrow, but lived for now because I felt like no one was on my side. I got caught up and ended up where nobody wants to be: sitting in a cold cell, nothing to do, nobody you could really talk to, and the nastiest food you could ever put in your mouth. This got me thinking about what I could do to stay out of jail.
To get off that path, I had to go back and finish school, and I knew just where to go. The EOYDC is like family. When you walk in the Center, it’s like walking in the house. It gives you a feeling that you’re wanted and needed and it’s a comfortable atmosphere for any one’s upbringing. Even though I heard people saying that the school system is unfair and society is set up for African Americans to fail, never in my life had I thought I’d be the statistic. My goal in life is to be successful, become wealthy, raise a family and leave a name or mark on the world. It takes hard work, penitence, determination, and perseverance to be where you want to be in life.
This was a lesson I’m glad I learned at a young age. It’s something everyone’s parents tell them: “There isn’t anything in the streets for you except jail and heartache” and that’s exactly what I met. As I get older, I see why adults say to me, “I wish I was a kid again”. Childhood only happens once, so once you miss it, it’s over.
These days you need a college education for a good paying job in our forever-changing world. So frustrated with the education system, I didn’t want to go back, but the EOYDC was motivation enough to get me on the ball. That’s why getting my GED is important to me. Without it, I know where I’d be.