Adela Mora Pimentel

AdelaEvery high school experience is unique. Some high schoolers find it a breeze to accomplish their courses and to be in extracurricular activities and be socially active. For others on the other hand, it may be complicated and may even seem impossible to complete one course. Many factors in high school come into play and can be a limiting factor for students. The students that seem to shy-out of education are those who show struggle in their academic success. For some students, being popular and the center of attention may feel like a bigger necessity than school, for another it may be that they may have had or have a history of abuse or traumatic events in their lives, and for others it may be a medical need they possess and cannot attend to. My obstacles to complete my high school courses and graduation were similar, but not identical.

I grew up in a trailer home with parents who physically and verbally fought with each other, and who eventually obtained a divorce. My father won custody over my three siblings and I, but he was never home. My father became depressed and began to abuse drugs, and although he would deny the facts and was not willing to admit and discontinue his heavy drug use, his entire family, who was financially stable, did nothing to help out. My older sisters were sixteen and fifteen when they started working night shifts at a local sandwich deli to pay for our food necessities and household necessities, meanwhile they attended high school and took care of my two year old brother and myself who was five years of age. Nights would occasionally pass by where we had nothing to eat or lack of running electricity or water; but we were used to it. The child support money that my mother would send was used to pay for my dad’s drug addictions and my father much rather pay for his drugs than pay for air cooler during the scorching hot summers. There would be occasions when my dad would ask for money from my sisters and would never pay it back, but eventually my mother became aware of this and stopped sending him the child support money.

My sisters were the first in our whole family tree to attend and accomplish college, but the pressure and expectation bar was raised for my brother and I as well. I was never the smart one, or the best looking one, orthe nice one that everyone loved. I was the one who failed every course or barely passed it, the one who was fat and had dentition troubles,and apart from that I was always angry and mean. I attended several different high schools due to movement of living locations and I surfed the verge of failing and passing every scholar year.

The summer of my junior-senior year in high school I was raped and beat by two adolescents who were well-known in the only city high school. I felt terrified and was pressured to move away. For my senior year I decided tomove to Grapevine with a friend. I believed that would solve my fear-aching heart but I was so wrong. Feelings of isolation,depression, suicide, emptiness, longing, good-for-nothing set at the center-bottom of my broken heart. I became my worst nightmare when I began to abuse drugs.The separation between my family and myself grew stronger than ever. I set priorities with drugs being my number one and for that I paid a high price and missed a lot of treasurable moments with my loved ones. I not only realized the lack of love for them but I noticed that my grades were lower than ever, I was gaining weight, turning into a bitter person, and my self esteem was plummeting. The feelings of depression vanished into thin air for a split hour or two while I was high, but never failed to return like a boomerang. I seeked help from a free therapist and set my realistic goals and priorities straight. I dropped out of school because I felt the need to have my family and their support by my side, and although it was a struggle to find a stable good pay job without a high school diploma, my addictions vanished with time. The following school year I returned to high school only by the grace of God. I am to graduate this November and I plan to prove the people who have called me stupid, wrong.

I plan to study nursing and someday work in the emergency room to help people in need. I once found myself in need of help and drowning in depression and I would love to save a soul who feels in need as well. I know I do not have the financial means to attend the best University but I have faith in God and I know he will provide for my financial needs just as he did with my sisters. The government’s help to me means a lot because it is the only source I can have a little bit of dependency on. Although there may be some issues within our government, they always give to those in need.

Giving is a gift that some people are blessed with and some,unfortunately, are not. I did not always receive help from people who had the means to give and it is a sad thing to have gone through, it is why I always give when I can. One never knows the difference someone may be able to do with one’s gift.Giving is a beautiful thing that God himself did and continues to do. Giving is a gift.


Maya Haggerty

MayaWhen I got the application for this opportunity it made me start to think of what was my greatest obstacles on the road out of high school. There was a long list of things I could have chosen,but then I realized that my greatest obstacle to overcome on the road to graduation was me. The lack of confidence and the amount of self doubt that I had and my fear of failure, was hindering my potential future. So I started thinking of what kind of person I wanted to be and I started to fix my problem. I got more invested in school, set future goals, started counseling and tried to have more confidence in me and what I was doing.

With my thoughts and newfound confidence in academics I realize that I could do anything that I set my mind to. So some days I fantasize about being an actress and other days I dream about owning my own restaurant where people love me and my food. But my major plan and focus is getting into the college of my dreams where I can see myself transforming into a striving young adult. I love giving a piece of myself to someone else by making their day better by the littlest thing that I have done.

When I was growing up I observed my mother giving away so much of herself to others. She always taught us that it better to give than to receive. So when you ask me what giving means to me I see my mom giving money or her time to people in need. She asked us get rid of toys before Christmas and explains that I can’t get anything without giving a little something away. Giving to me is to make others happy, or as an act of kindness without being expected to.

You never know what is going on in someone’s life or the adversity that they are facing. You never know what adversity that you will face. Malcolm X said “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak and every loss contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.” I know what I was faced with yesterday and I also know that with every new day is a chance to do better. Writing this paper has taught me somethings about myself that I had since forgotten; if I keep on pushing. I can truly be a better me.


Jasmyn Trevino

JasmynMy greatest obstacle on the road to high school has been focusing on school while having a little one at home.It’s difficult to find time to get work done.When I get to school early I will go to tutorials and get extra help.After putting the baby to sleep I stay up late doing school work.I hardly ever have free time,but when I do I use that time to focus on school work.

My plans after high school are to attend college.I want to better myself and do what’s best for me.I also want to do what’s best for my baby in order to provide the best life possible for him.In the future I want to be able to tell him I did it by myself and hopefully become his role model.

My goal after high school is to successfully get through college and live my dream.I have dreams of becoming a FBI agent.In the feature I want to have my own house,my own car,pay my own bills and do what’s best for my family.

Taking the time of your life to help someone is giving.Be their for one because later in life your going to feel great about all the wonderful things you have done.Jim Rohn says that “only by giving are you able to recieve more than you already have”. To me,the word giving means to help others.Examples of this could be holding doors,being nice to people and offering help.One of the best ways to give is to give someone your time.This will create a satisfying feeling in your life.


Jenna Corbett

JennaNelson Mandela once said, “The greatest glory in living lies not innever falling, but in rising every time we fall.” This quote has definitely helped me get through my high school journey. My first year of high school was spent in a boarding school in East Texas, where I spent 11 1/2 months in therapeutic solitude trying to find my self-worth. Prior to this program, I struggled with chronic depression and anxiety, leading to multiple suicide attempts and years of self-harm. During this challenging time, staying alive and happy was more important than high school graduation. As a result of this period of self discovery, I fell significantly behind in my school work, almost to the point where I was going to graduate a year late. Although this experience was the most challenging obstacle I’ve had to overcome, it definitely helped with the emotional toll I was enduring. To this day l struggle with depression and anxiety, though there’s nothing I can do about it, I try to look at the brighter side of dark situations.

Living in this program, l went to school for 4 hours a day and wasn’t very motivated at all. I quickly fell behind and eventually lost the desire to work on school in general.By the time I graduated the program, l had only finished 3 credits and had to restart start high school as a 16 year old freshman. Since then, I have been attending a school that offers all online classes, giving me the opportunity to graduate on time. However, in the 7 months l have been at this school, I have recovered almost enough credits to graduate an entire year early. Regardless of the struggles I continue to face, l have been given a second chance for a future I never thought to be possible.

To some people, giving may mean to physically give someone something. To me, giving means taking what you have, and distributing it to those around you. Whether it’s joy, good vibes, time, or even love. giving doesn’t always refer to material possessions. I have been given a second chance in my life, therefore I will spend my life giving to others. Using my experience as an at-risk teen, I know how things can be difficult, but I also know that our current situation is not our final destination. That’s why I want lo use my knowledge to give struggling teens an understanding of their intrinsic value.

When I was two my parents got divorced, leaving me to grow up in split households. I never spent much time with my dad. so my mom and my grandmother were my primary caregivers. Eventually my mom remarried to my step-dad giving me two younger siblings. Living in a household with younger kids can be kind of hectic. Also, with the new responsibility of becoming an adult, it’s difficult to make time for them and maintain a social status. To add to the mayhem, one of my friend’s recently moved into my house causing more of a commitment to maturing into young adulthood. I plan to move to San Antonio with this friend after we graduate and live out the next chapter of our lives independently, but conjointly relying on each other.

Given the obstacles I grew up facing, I’ve always had the desire to be an adolescent psychologist. When I graduate high school, I plan to go to UTSA for psychology and live out my dream with my best friend by my side. I acknowledge that it will be quite difficult starting out, but I am very excited for the journey ahead of me. I have definitely come a long way from where I was, and I have a long way to go, but I know for certain that no obstacle can stop me from where I am headed now.


Deiontae Richardson

Deiontae11. What is the greatest obstacle you have overcome on the road to high school graduation?  What steps have you taken to overcome the obstacle?

The greatest obstacle I had to overcome is realizing that spent too much time my Freshman and Sophomore years not doing work and skipping school to realize my Junior year I wouldn’t graduate with my class. I went to Winfree Academy in Denton to get caught up on my credits so I could return back to Denton High School to play basketball but along the way I became fond of the staff and I really liked the structure of the school. About two years ago the Winfree in Denton had to move and the closest location was Lewisville. This became difficult because I don’t have my own car and my family already struggles to make sure there’s gas in the cars. I was motivated still and I used that motivation and networked so that I can have a ride to school every day.

2. What are your plans after high school and why?

My plans after high school are to enroll in NCTC and get my basics done then hopefully transfer to The Art Institute of Dallas. I would like to specialize in culinary arts so that perhaps one dayI can open my own restaurant. I also enjoy graphic design so if my culinary dreams fail I can look into becoming a graphic designer. After finishing at The Art Institute of Dallas I would like to attend UNT to get a business degree so that when I open my own restaurant I will know how to handle the business.

3. What does giving mean to you?

To me giving means that you give back to people that have helped you along the way, or helping someone in need. I’ve had many people in my life that have always been there for me when I needed them or just because they have a good heart. Those are the kind of people that deserve to be given too.

4. What items are you most in need or would make your Christmas special?

Personally I don’t want to ask for anything for myself because I would rather give to my family. I am happy when I see the smiles on my family’s face when they get something new and it was something I could get for them.


Cody MobleyCody1

People go through many obstacles in their lives. It could be family, money, kids,career, school, and etc …. It affects everyone differently as well as changes their lives.

Growing up a young child I thought everything was fine. I never exactly went without, I loved my family and everything was good. However eventually my parent’s tricky demons caught back up with them and tore everything apart. My parent’s addictions ruined our family. Soon afterwards their demons had also become my demons. I lost everything; I was a shell of my former self with no morals. Addiction took over my life. I have since then been sober for two years. I am now in a stable job position where I can support myself. I have a decent car and am almost done with school. After being dropped out for two years. But most importantly I gained my happiness and confidence back.

Once I finally reach my goal of graduating I’m going to move on to my next phase. I want to look into a trade school for some kind of ceramics, pottery, and or sculpture. I’ve always been an artist; it’s my purpose on earth. I want to make beautiful sculptures, vases, scenes, or more! Anything where I just get to bring in more beauty and messages to the world. That’s what will make me happy!I don’t know exactly what it’ll be but once I finish school I’ll be able to go off an explore and discover exactly what it can be.

I wouldn’t be here without certain people in my life and I couldn’t ever try to claim all the credit. I love those people from the bottom of my heart. I will always be there for them and will try a help them in any way and every way I can. I do this because what else is the point of gaining and moving forward in life if you can’t give out and spread the joy that others were kind enough to give to you. I will always give what I can where it is needed. The people I owe most gratitude would be first and for most, Aidan, my little brother a.k.a my rock. Then following, Scott, my dad, Mary, my best friend/ sister. Cheyenne Stone and Melissa Jefferson, my motivates at school and Kathy Trowell, my boss and right hand woman at work.

I’ve had a lot of trauma and struggle in my life. After a long time running I’ve finally gotten to place where I’m truly happy with myself. If there was anything I would need it would be a new laptop. The one I have now is several years old and barely works. It would make school work and looking into future schooling a lot easier. Plus I could also use it to help out with my work life.I’m a manager and have to deal with a lot of paperwork. If I had to name what I could most use, starting a house and life doesn’t give me a lot of extra money.Thank you for your time and considering me.Cody-Deiontae-graduation


Brandon Osborn

Brandon1Everything I have face my whole life has been an obstacle, between being in ICU for six months to being hit stiches every year, from busting my head open, my knee being busted open, stiches in both sides of my eyes from being hit with a steel pole by my brother, getting hit by a car in the sixth grade and having to have three hundred stiches in my leg taking 5 hours to do it wasn’t easy being young. Everyone always wants to remember their childhood. Well I had a childhood I don’t want to remember I had 2 older brothers one of witch who raped me multiple times when I was eight years old and didn’t know that what he was doing was wrong.

Giving to me is something I understand more than most people I have a 11 years old autistic little brother named Cody I gave up a lot to help out with his needs, but I can no longer to that due to the fact that my mom kicked me out, and I am now living in Lewisville living in my car. I can only hope that the kid is doing okay. Whenever I get the chance off from work I will sometimes go to hospitals that have different kids with different disabilities and I will go and read to them or just spend time with them by watching T.V. or playing board games but since I have been kicked out I haven’t been able to do that. Do to the fact thatI have to work 6 to 7 days a week and go to school just to make sure I eat at the end of the day and have gas in my car. Its just been hard and I have told myself since I got kicked out be the one to succeed and prove my family wrong.

My mom was a meth head and did many other drugs, I couldn’t live there and more or just watch her slowly kill herself so I tried to talk to her about it and everything else and she got mad and told me to pack my bags and get out so I did.

But what would really help me out is a lot of things but primarily a laptop of some sort for my new job after I graduate, because this job will help pay for college and I’m going to do online collage that way I can get a degree while following through with my career. But even if I didn’t give anything to help me out I know that with the situation I’m in I know that with the little amount of money I do make I know I still can give back to people that need it a lot more than I do, but this is more than just about getting and giving its about showing that no matter how hard things get someone’s always willing to help and someone is always watching out for you and its appreciated more than they probably think …



Abra Jones

Abra21.What is the greatest obstacle you have overcome on the road to high school graduation? What steps have you taken to overcome the obstacle?

My greatest obstacle on the road to high school graduation is being bullied. I have been bullied throughout my entire life, the higher grade level, the worse it gets. I have been to about 9 different schools since kindergarten.

2. What are your plans after high school and why?

My plans for after high school would be raising my baby to be the best person she can be.

3. What does giving mean to you?

Giving to me means helping someone in need and putting someone before you.

4. What item(s) are you most in need, or would make your Christmas most special?

I don’t want anything except for my daughter to be born healthy. And to get the rest of the things I need: newborn diapers, scratch mittens, wipes, burp clothes, and bottles.

My name is Abra Jones, I am 15 years old and pregnant. I am due on Christmas Eve.Before I got pregnant, I had a troubled life, I have seen and been through rough times with family. I’ve always been the kid that didn’t have new things,I never really got the “cool” things or what was “in style.” All I want now, is for my baby to have the things she needs, and wants. I’m not worried so much about my wants, all that matters is my daughter having all she needs.

Mallorie Garner

MallorieMy name is Mallorie Garner and when I was in middle school I was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder. It made me feel good to know why I was acting and feeling the way I was but I was terrified because I didn’t know how to fix it. I had watched my older sister struggle with it and I didn’t like watching how she suffered, and I wondered if I would be just like her. The doctors put me on medication and my mother helped me as much as she could but she was busy working while trying to take care of me and my sisters. When I was a freshman in high school my mother lost her job and we were forced to move from hotel to hotel using what little money we had. Due to lack of income we lost our car and I didn’t have a way to school which resulted in me losing credit and having truancy filed. My sophomore year was looking to be better since my mom finally found a job and we were starting to save money. We were trying to get an apartment and a car but my mom lost her new job. Again my grades started slipping and my attendance was not very good. We decided that changing to Winfree would be a better option because it is only 4 hours a day, I could recapture lost credit, and it was just down the street from our current hotel.Shortly after enrolling I found out I was pregnant and the baby’s father wanted nothing to do with me. When I was about 5 months pregnant I became very ill and was admitted to the hospital and found out I have a cyst on one of my ovaries. The doctors at first thought they were going to have to do a cesarean and take my baby girl early because of the size of the cyst, but after further test they concluded I would be able to carry her to term.

My goal is to graduate in 2017 and go to college so I can provide a better life for my daughter. I know that this will be a rough road for me because I am a single mother, but I have a good support system that will help me. At this time I don’t know what I want to major in but I know I want to help people.

My family and I have spent the past couple of years in need of so many different things and we have been fortunate enough there have been people and organizations that can help us so one day I would like to give back to them so they can continue to do good deeds. I hope one day I will have enough money that I will be able to provide all the needs and wants for my daughter and have enough left over to give back to the community that has been so generous to me and my family.

My wish for Christmas is that I can provide a grand welcome for my daughter and have all of the necessities for her. I would also like to provide gifts for my family since there won’t be many gifts this year to give. Thank you for considering me it is an honor.