If you see a problem or injustice, you can be the one to fix it. Self-discipline means loving yourself, pushing yourself, staying on track and doing what’s right. While it might seem counterintuitive, failing motivates me. I have failed plenty of times, not one time did I stop grinding. Failing made me the woman I am today.
I failed the 11th grade at Patterson High School. Some of the classes were hard. I had to have a certain number of credits in order to go to the 12thgrade. They recommended I attend twilight school. I had to pay $200 for each class I’d failed. My mother and father did not have the money. I didn’t know what to do. I was going to drop out because I didn’t want to graduate late. I was told about this program that could help me graduate on time. I called the Board of Education and they told me I couldn’t attend an alternative school. I kept calling and I ended up going to get my transcript. I took my transcript to an alternative school called Excel Academy @ Francis M Wood in October of 2015 to enroll myself and I started the same day. In the beginning of 2016 I was in the 12th grade and I graduated on time. On June 3rd 2016 I received my diploma. It was a lot of stress but I did it. Failing pushed me to do what I had to do in order for me to graduate. Failing pushed me to do better than I did before. Failing did not break me like it did to others. Failing made me strong. I am not afraid to fail.
The hardest part about my experience was trying to get everything completed on time for me to graduate. I had to take two bridge projects. The only way I could complete them was if I stayed after school. They were a bit hard, but I had help from one of my awesome teachers. My teacher told me exactly what I had to do. My bridge project got accepted. I was passing all my classes. Out of nowhere they told me I had to take a night class. It was getting close to the end of the school year. I had to stay after school longer than I was supposed to. The end of the school year was so close and I still wasn’t done. The principal told me if I get a 60% or higher on the assessment I would graduate on time. I took the assessment and scored a 90%.
The best part about my experience was being place in my new school because it was a great fit for me. There weren’t too many kids in one class. The teachers could get to every student that needed help. The teachers cared about every student in the school and the principal was a good person. She set a great example. I even got sponsored by one of my teachers. I didn’t have to pay for my dues, which is an obligatory payment. I always tell kids that are going through what I went through to attend Francis M Wood.
Because of my experience at Excel Academy, I think Baltimore City Schools needs to assign every student a teacher mentor so they have someone who is looking out for them. They need to make sure there are smaller class sizes so that the teachers can get to every student that needs help. They also need to make sure they have teachers that are committed to helping students get their high school education.
Being in high school is harder than elementary and middle school. If you don’t care, then some of the teachers won’t care either. Work as hard as you can. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask. Get all the help you can get. Don’t wait too late and then decide to get your stuff together. Don’t let people tell you what you can or can’t do. You can do whatever you put your mind to. The four years of high school will go by quicker than you think. I was highly disappointed in myself, but I got up and did what I had to do. I refused to not graduate on time. I put my mind to graduating on time and that’s what I did. In high school you have to focus on you. This is your diploma you are trying to receive. Make sure you work hard and don’t let anything get in the way of you receiving that high school diploma.
After I graduated high school I started working right away. I was working in Baltimore city schools with kids that had behavioral problem and/or disabilities. I liked my job. I liked my job because I could help a young person not take the route I took in school. I could give them the advice I didn’t take in while I was in school. I was helping someone to do and be better. It was a great feeling to have a young person looking up to me. I got another job working with kids. This organization was called Holistic Life Foundation. This was a great experience. I met a few people that were great. I learned how to do yoga. Yoga gave me a better mindset. I learned how to be calm in situations that could have a person roused up. I was working with kids for 3 years. 2019 I decided to give youth works a try. I got a call about an interview for Open Society Foundation. I did my interview and I got the job. I learned a lot working at OSI. I got to meet some great people. Working at OSI was another great experience for me. I got a chance to express myself to some great people.