I wish I could stand here and tell you I didn’t graduate from high school back in 1987 like I was supposed to because school was just boring or I had better things to do...that was not the case for me. You see, I was about 5 years old when I was diagnosed to be extremely hyperactive….Today, it’s called ADHD.
Having ADHD caused me a lot of problems. As a matter of fact, I was held back in Kindergarten because I just didn’t play well with other kids. And I could not sit still in class. That’s what Kindergarten TWICE through sixth grade was like for me. I got in a lot of fights, and I got suspended a lot. I did not do good in school, but the teachers pushed me through anyway. In the 7th grade, I started smoking pot and cigarettes and got kicked out of Walters Jr High and had to go to Mr. Dillon Continuation. In the 8th grade, I went back to Walters Jr High just to be kicked out in the first two weeks. In the 9th grade, I attended Kennedy High in Fremont. I went to high school just to cut class, smoke pot, and get in trouble. So at the end of the 9th grade, I was asked not to come back so I dropped out...and that led me to a lifetime of addiction, breaking the law, not being able to hold a job, and getting in and out of state prisons.
In 2015, I was sentenced to do 6 years in the Santa Clara County Jail. That’s when I truly understood that if I didn’t do whatever it took to change my life, I would spend the rest of my life alone and probably die in some prison. And so I started taking steps toward bettering my life. One of the changes I knew I had to make was I had to get a high school education...that’s when Ms. Denise came into my life and even though I struggled in her class, she REFUSED to give up on me.
Learning was no easy task for me! I hadn’t been in school since 1985 and all the math was new and foreign to me. But Ms. Denise continued to stick with me and kept encouraging me. She also had me attending an extra math class taught by Mr. Joe. Between the both of them, they helped me achieve something I never thought I would ever do---getting my HSE.
I’m finding that having an HSE is only the beginning...now I can become whatever I put my heart and mind to. I’ve always wanted to become a certified welder...with a high school education, I can now pursue that goal by entering a welding apprenticeship program where I can Earn While I Learn this coming July.
My testimony would be incomplete without talking about my faith. You see, the change I needed to make had to start on the inside and it started with God. I finally came to know and understand the truth of God’s unfailing love for me. He loved me enough to place the right people in my path to help me through the changes I needed to make. I give glory to God for all He continues to do in my life.
Thank you Ms. Denise for all your patience, thank you Mr. Joe for all your help, thank you Sandra for standing by me for 30 years, and thank you Mom and Dad.