‘Graduating Can Make or Break You’

By Derrick, Class of 2017 Senior at Todd Beamer High School

I will be the first boy to graduate from high school in my family. Originally, I did not think I would make it through school because of my difficult background.


My aunt, her husband Dale and my little sister Tatyana are my primary support system. They made me want to do better in school and gave me no alternative. “You do not have a choice but to graduate,” they said.

Throughout high school, my support system grew and helped me mature into a young man preparing for college. One of the most important things I learned was that the people you surround yourself with can affect how you choose to participate in school, so choose wisely or graduating could become difficult.

I had people who cared about what I was doing, constantly checking in on me and influencing me to make better decisions. My Education Specialist Reggie Rogers from Treehouse has been a big part of keeping me on track to graduate. I started hanging with students who had goals and plans for life after high school. When the people around me changed, so did my environment and my mindset. I changed the way I think, act and do things.

Graduating can make or break you. I see it as a reward for the people who finish a process. In my eyes, graduation is just the beginning of a pattern which leads to success. I now know what it takes to accomplish something important in life.

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About the Author

Derrick is one of the 600+ youth in the Treehouse Graduation Success program. After graduating in June, Derrick will attend Eastern Washington University in the fall. 

Comment (1)

Beth Manger (retired teacher)

June 2, 2017

Your story brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations on your graduation! I encourage you to keep up the good work.


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