Matthew’s upbringing was conflicted; he grew up in a good home, but he had a broken family. His parents were divorced, but they were always supportive and pushed him to excel. Middle school was challenging because students would often pick on him and, being a pacifist, he didn’t really defend himself. He tried hard to avoid these situations and instead focused on himself and his education.

He felt traditional high school was holding him back from opportunities that he wanted to explore. While attending high school, he aspired to be employed and attend college simultaneously. His two siblings had graduated with us, so Matthew was familiar with our programs and services, such as the college dual enrollment program and a flexible schedule. He knew it would help him fulfill his goals, so he decided to enroll at our school in his sophomore year.

Matthew was able to get a semester ahead and complete 12 college units, and the ability to work on his own schedule and learn at his own pace allowed him the added freedom to pursue other interests.

He joined the Police Explorers program and worked both full-time and part-time jobs at various times until his graduation. Our program suited him well since he wanted to work and earn money while in school. Matthew believed it was important for him to pay his own way and to show his parents that he had both the ability and the willingness to work.

Now a high school graduate, Matthew works part-time for the city and attends his local community college. He is proud to help support his family financially and credits the staff at our school for helping him do that. He plans to pursue a career in law enforcement and eventually hopes to work for the federal government with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“My teachers and staff members really pushed me to succeed, to focus on school and to graduate. I’m in a good spot in my life right now with the help I received.”

Written By:
Ann Abajian