Cody, High School East (Class of 2020)
Throughout my life I have experienced hardships that have fueled me to be who I am today. I didn’t have a “traditional” childhood. My family was often homeless, living in a shelter or even a car. In spite of this, I didn’t allow my circumstances to bring me down or define me. In fact, the hardships created an energy within me to “get out” and be successful. I am still trying to figure out what being successful is, but I know I am on the right path.
My path started in elementary school, in a class for students with invisible learning disabilities. I discovered that I have a gift for connecting with and being able to support special education students. Little did I know that at ten years old, I had already found the passion that would help shape my future/career. In tenth grade, I was given the opportunity to become the youngest Community Action Program (CAP) student at High School East. CAP allowed me to earn credits toward graduation while assisting in our Autism Academy. While working in the Autism Academy I started to realize that my peers needed me as much as I needed them. Not only did I have the honor of helping the students with their education, at the same time they were helping me become the person I am today. The students created a positive energy within me. Whatever was wrong in the world - it was my work with these students that brought me through it. I knew I wanted to continue on this path after high school graduation.
Fast forward to today. I am a paraprofessional at High School East just three months after graduation and I am continuing to pursue my road to success. I wake up every morning in a healthy environment, thanks to a good friend who has given me stability. I go to work where I find peace and satisfaction in what I do everyday. I want to encourage everyone, regardless of their circumstances to fight for what they want and to believe in themselves. I never gave up the thought that I deserved to be successful.
Published March 17, 2021