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Education is very important to me in order to move ahead in life. Not just get by, but to really succeed.

My senior year I had to apply for colleges and make sure I was going to graduate. When it came down to clearance, I went to all my classes to make sure i was passing with at least a 75 percent. I was failing my math class, so I took time to make up all of the missing work. When I was finally cleared for graduation, I was so excited to find out that i was going to graduate with my class.

Graduation day comes and I get ready for the day. Once I arrived at the graduation location, I was so nervous just walking in and getting seated. I looked around for my family, and I heard them scream my name loudly. The time was getting closer for me to recieve my diploma, and I was lucky to have my family right next to me cheering me on. They called my name, and I walked to receive my diploma. It still hasn’t hit me that I am at my own graduation. It doesn’t hit me until I see the pictures I took with my family after the ceremony.

After graduating, I decided to take a semester off from school. Then, I enrolled at my local community college. I am working toward an associate’s degree in psychology. I am proud to say I completed my first semester of community college. I never thought I would make it this far in my education.

I find myself thinking “what if” a lot. Sometimes I think, “What if I was still with my biological family?” Would I be where I am at now, or would that have negatively impacted my educational path? I am grateful to be where I am at. I am the first in my family to graduate high school and attend college. I am in my second semester in college, and I will keep furthering my education to better myself in the long run. If it wasn't for me being put into the foster care system I would not have been where I'm at today.

A lot of former foster youth don't take the opportunity to go to college. This can be because they are pressured into it even if they aren’t ready and need time to think about it. I am extremely glad that I took a semester off to consider my education and career options because I definitely wasn’t ready to jump right back into school. I appreciate all the support I had from my foster mom, family, and my caseworkers.

To all foster youth: give yourself time to get your head on straight, then continue with your future. To all case workers or staff working with youth: show your youth support and be patient with their decision making. My education has a huge impact on my future career as a social worker, and in my life. I want to show people that no matter what goes on in your life, it is never too late to be successful and pursue an education.

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Sep 11, 2018 By guzman.aleea