Small steps big changes. Compass on chalkboard background.

Again and again we hear from our students that coming to our school was life changing. For the first time they had teachers and staff who really listened to them and cared about them as individuals. With their lessons tailored to their strengths, weaknesses and learning styles, they flourished and gained confidence. Many who thought they might never earn a high school diploma were making plans for college. 

When we ask students to share their stories, we ask them, “Where do you think you would be if you had not come to our school?” Here are a few of their responses: 

Jolie F.– I most likely would have slipped through the cracks at traditional high school and dropped out. 

Alexandria T. – I don’t think I would have finished high school. The support from this school was vital for me to be able to finish. It is hard to imagine but that would mean I would not be in college right now. 

Karina E. – Truthfully, in a bad place. 

Minnie M. – Absolutely riddled with crushing anxiety, losing my mind, and failing classes at my old high school. 

Valerie G. – I’m not sure. I would probably be in a very bad mental and physical state. If I hadn’t got kicked out of my old school, my mental issues would have driven me insane, and I would have done something to hurt myself. 

Aja A. – It’s not a matter of where I would be, but who I would be. During my time here, I was treated with the utmost respect from the teachers and staff and felt like I could ask them for anything I needed to help me succeed. I was encouraged to figure out my passions, both academic and personal, which led me to where I am now career-wise. 

Michaela M. – I would not have graduated High School, I would not be in college, I would not know my worth or that my disability can’t hold me back. But most importantly, I would not be alive today. I went through major depression after my accident and the support Desert Sands gave me is what kept me alive. I owe them everything. 

Andrew S. — Just a working man without a degree 

Joel B. — Dead or attempting to do extreme illegal actions to provide for my family. 

We’ve helped more than 30,000 students earn a high school diploma – students who were struggling, in trouble or had dropped out. We’re often the last resort for many students, but we’re changing lives, one student at a time. 

Written By:
Ann Abajian