Why education is important to me: Pt One

Would you be where you are today if you did not have a high school diploma or G.E.D?
What comes to mind when you think about high school? 
Homework? Sports? Prom? Sleepovers and parties?


Do you think of bullies? learning disorders? outcasts? at risk youth? 

According to 2009 estimates, 114,826 California students in grades 9-12 were expected to drop out at some point during high school – about one in every five students (21.5%).  {src}

ONE in every FIVE students. 

I was almost that ONE. 

Research has shown that young people who drop out of high school are more likely to use drugs/alcohol, get involved in criminal activity, and become teen parents. High school dropouts also have higher unemployment rates and are more likely to receive public assistance.  {src}

Students drop out of high school for a complex variety of reasons. Predictors of dropping out include a student’s record of school success, engagement in school, vision for their future, role modeling, poverty, teen child bearing and other external factors.

Other possible causes have been examined in various studies. Gleason and Dynarksi cited studies finding that a student’s family income, socioeconomic status, and parental level of schooling are correlated with early school withdrawal. Limited English ability, membership to a family which receives welfare, neglect, having caregivers with drug addictions, other family members dropping out of school, needing to support family, and personal safety issues may also be correlated with the act of leaving school without a diploma. {src}

I went to THREE different high schools, in two different states. During my junior year I had given up. 
I lived in a rather poor town. Neither of my parents had high levels of education. It started out as missing a few homework assignments to deliberately ignoring homework and classwork to skipping school. 

I remember the principal of my second high school calling me to his office. There was no possible way I would graduate from this high school, he told me. But in my mind I had given up.  Even though it was only my junior year I didn't have enough credits to advance to the 12th grade. Summer school won't help either, he told me. I would have to repeat the eleventh grade. 

Let's take a second and go back a little farther. To the seventh grade. Middle school? That was also awful. I had practically failed the first year of middle school. I had to take summer school classes all summer if I wanted to advance to the eighth grade. Can you guess what happened next? I failed the eighth grade, according to California. Summer school was not going to save me here. I would have to repeat the last year of middle school while all of my friends went to high school without me

That summer I ended up moving all the way across the country to Indiana. According to Indiana's curriculum I had more than enough credits to advance to the 9th grade. Sounds like a fairy tale right? 
I failed the eighth grade but I am still going to high school. 

I should have been forced to repeat the eighth grade. I was not prepared for high school. At. All. 

Have you ever been held back? Did you have to repeat a grade? Do you have children who were/are in this position?

To be continued.... {pt. two} & {pt. three

Come back tomorrow to read the rest of my story, and find out why education is SO important to me, and why it should be important to YOU. 

I will be featuring my story all week, as well as another story and a wonderful opportunity for YOU to provide a safe and effective education for other at-risk youth.  

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Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.