School used to drive me crazy with all the classwork, homework and tests. Sometimes teachers wouldn’t give much attention to me or other struggling students. School was not for me. Failing all my classes straight for two years was something I was not proud of but definitely did not care about. In my second semester of junior year I was sent to Highland Park Continuation High, where I enrolled with only my freshman credits.
I came in thinking this school was going to be the same as any other high school, but within the first few days I realized the difference. The effort all the teachers and staff put in was more than enough to say, 'Graduation for our students is our No. 1 priority.'
Once I realized my mistakes, I told myself, 'Wow, I nearly threw my whole life away.' I had so many questions – What if this? What if that? I didn’t even know if I was going to get the chance to graduate. My little brother looks up to me and so knew that it was time to change – not just for me but for the people around me. With my school’s help, I saw my opportunity and chance to rise day by day.
I am now a senior with 190 credits, and I am working to complete my education by December. I am looking forward to attending Los Angeles Trade Tech and studying culinary arts.
Oscar Torres Senior Highland Park Continuation High