A Second Chance At Success

I was destined for failure. At 15, I was already scarred with tattoos and had no goals in life. My mother worked two shifts to pay the bills at home, so I spent most of my time with my aunt’s family. My cousins were more like my brothers. The decision to choose them as my role models would prove to be a great mistake. But finding the right guidance seemed impossible in a family full of dropouts and criminals.

My cousins only led me to trouble. They introduced me to drugs and showed me how to steal. To my extended family, I was just another criminal so they turned their back on me.

I felt so alone. The only one that stayed by my side would be my beautiful mother. She never lost hope – even when I did. Eventually, I got kicked out of school for my activities. I saw my life heading towards a horrible ending. How could I dream of college when just completing high school already seemed beyond reach?

After being kicked out of my home high school, I was able to attend George I. Sanchez Charter High School. I entered the spring semester with a 1.57 GPA. I was at a new school with no old friends or cousins to influence me, but causing trouble was still a difficult habit to break. I needed someone to guide me through school before I blew my final chance. One day during my junior year, the police handcuffed me and removed me from my class. Because of my known drug activity, I was searched. The search came up empty, and I was cleared and let go. But this would be the day that changed my life.

The next day, I was called to the office. Shubhra Endley, a Social Worker from Communities In Schools, was there to meet me. My mother had asked the school for help and they believed Ms. Shubhra would be the only answer. She offered to guide me towards success, and I promised myself that after this day I would only do things that would make my mother proud.

Ms. Shubhra was different. She was educated with a college degree, and she cared about me. She was the person I had been missing. When I faced temptation, she made sure I knew that I wasn’t alone. When I saw friends leaving me as I tried to change for the better, she helped me understand that it was only for the best. She was the first person that made me consider college – a choice that once seemed impossible. She guided me where my mother was unable. Everything seemed impossible before I met her, but finally it all felt obtainable.

I graduated from high school as a proud prom king with a 3.0 GPA, 27 college credit hours, and a scholarship to attend college. Today, my future only looks bright. I am a college student at the University of Houston, a middle school tutor, and a future civil engineer. It is all thanks to two special people who stood by my side even when times got tough. First – my mother – the angel who never gave up on me. Even when I seemed hopeless, she continued fighting to save me. And Ms. Shubhra Endley, my CIS project manager who cared enough to guide me when I was lost.

There is no way I can repay these two special guardian angels for what they did for me. But now I can show how thankful I am by helping other kids that are in the same lonely situation I once was in.

–Javier University of Houston, Class of 2012

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