Jazlyn – Age 19, Grade 11

The greatest obstacle I’ve had to overcome on the road to High School Graduation is putting myself through school once again and staying in school even when I have wanted to quick the most, it has made me a better person because I have learned not to give up hope and keep pushing for my kids. I have had to make sacrifices for them and one of them was quitting school in the first place. It has not been an easy road but I am determined.
I have been thinking about what I want to do but what I want to do most of all is train to be a CN and help take care of the elderly most of all. I see how the elderly get mistreated and want to help by making sure they get proper care for.
Even though I struggle myself with things I need, it has always helped understand how they as in other people feel when they are in need of something. I believe giving back means giving when I have something someone needs, not just thinking about myself but others and that’s something I’ve always been big on.
I am in need of lots of things like cloths for me and my family, food, and having things for my kids most of all. It’s hard being a young mother and father for two girls when we have such little to give ourselves.
For example I live with my boyfriend’s family; there are 8 of us total in total, in a 2 bedroom house. This is not what I wanted for me and my family but I Strive for better and hope to overcome these obstacles and get my family to a better place and more financially stable then we’ve ever been.
We have been very lucky to have family vehicle that I use to get to school.
I had my first child pretty young, I have two kids they’re both girls my oldest is going to be 2 this month of November and my youngest will be 1 in December.
Even with everything life has handed me we still manage to make time for our kids and me and my boyfriend take our kids out to the park and let them run around for fun.
An when we are fortunate enough we like to eat out at places like Ihop, cracker barrel, Brahms, Cheddars and pretty much anywhere we can.
And through all this my boyfriend managed to buy me a phone he wound up paying off, for my birthday. It is a Samsung Galaxy 5. It has not been off for a while due to financial circumstances.

John and Jim Doe 

John and Jim Doe’s essay has been kept confidential for their safety.  They are brothers in a very difficult situation and are in need all the basic necessities of life due to circumstances beyond their control.

Maria – Age 25, Grade 11

Maria has an 8 year old little girl named Arlette and a 3 year old little boy named Leonard. She just gave birth to a little girl named Isabella. Her and the father of all three of her children live with her mother. Both her partner and her mother are working at minimum wage jobs. She is on the flex program so that she can be with her children as much as possible. She is back in school to model for her kids and prove to them the importance of an education. She is an immigrant with no healthcare except what is provide by the state. This means that she has forgone going to the dentist or other elective medical appointments to ensure her kids have everything they need. She is working with the Catholic Charities to help with diapers, which is a major concern with a newborn in the house.
She was born on 5.18.91. Her first pregnancy is what made her quit school in 2008. This last pregnancy is what brought her back. She is extremely polite and considerate. She is grateful for everything and has an extremely strong work ethic. Maria keeps her spirits and high and has plans of accomplishing her dream which is high school graduation.

Samuel – Age 19, Grade 12

I moved to Texas about 2 years ago with my mother and sister. Originally I was attending Richardson High then I came to Winfree Academy last year, and loved it. So decided to finish out my high school years here. I get to class by the taking a 3hour bus and walking due to the distance. But I love Winfree and what it has to offer.

When it comes down to the greatest obstacles I’ve had to face when graduating it’s my living situation, and my past which causes me to not be as focused as I should be. My family and I was homeless for about 4 months last year and we slept out of my mom’s car. Bathing at gas stations or using wipes to clean and at night I would stay up to make sure we were safe. We moved into a place and we were stable. Then recently our living situation became unstable once again. I was in class and I got told our place was on fire. I remember running from school all the way there. Once there I saw nothing but flames everywhere and immediately started looking for my mother and sister. Finally after seeing them we stood there and watched as our belongings and things got taken away from us. Since then my family and I have been in and out of hotels. But we managed to find something stable for now and we are overcoming it together. My past is one that causes me to stumble a lot. I’ve experienced a lot and so much hurt and pain in my 19years. I survived being molested for 2 years in foster care ,the death of my sister, getting beat for the entertainment of others, and getting beaten up repeatedly for my sexuality. While I was in foster care and so much more causes me to not be focused a lot. But at the same time I’m overcoming these obstacles by coping, dancing, singing and keeping in my what my true goal is which is to enlist in the Airforce or Navy. That is also my plan after high school. I’ve already started the process and the reason why I decided to join the service was so I can support my family and better myself, because I need more discipline and for school. I plan on getting my Bachelors in Computer Science and my PhD in Theology.

Through it all I stay positive. Though my family is struggling I always know that there’s someone that has it worse than we do. I’ve given people my food, money clothes and shoes off my body or whatever I can give the moment when I realized they were struggling worse than me. Giving to me means everything. Especially because you reap what you sow regardless. And giving isn’t just material though either sometimes it words, emotional, your time, or lending a helping hand. I give because I love people and love being there for others regardless of what’s going on in my own life and I realize it’s my responsibility to make someone’s day or life better if I can. Now if I could have anything that would make my Christmas more special it would be a house, something tats stable and permanent, and just being with my family. Now as far as items go I would say clothes, shoes, anything anyone was willing to give.

For fun I love to dance,sing,write poetry,go to movies, go to plays, be in a play, go shopping, help others,paint,be a clown, make others laugh, and just be me. I love to eat. I’m a major foodie, so when it comes to places I love to eat its Cheddars, Furrs, and McDonald’s. I have a Samsung Grand prime.

Jessica – Age 25, Grade 11

My name is Jessica I’m 25 years old, I’m a single mother of three, and I also attend Winfree Academy Charter School. This school is amazing they really helped me out the time I been attending and the teacher are so supported. My biggest struggle is of school was dropping out at a early age to support my family. The biggest obstacle was getting back into school and relearning everything, but no task is impossible. I would really love to go to college to study cosmetology because I have the passion in beauty industry and I love to make people feel beautiful. I know deep down we are all beautiful inside and out. we are all unique in our own way but making someone feel special is a feeling I can’t really explain. Giving means a lot to me even do I don’t have much to offer I’m always willing to help people the much that I can give. I don’t have a car at this moment since I was in a wreck but my family gives me a ride to work or school cause they see I’m trying my best to make a better life for me and my children. I have three kids their names are Joshua, Joel, and Anahi their ages are 10, 9, and 5 years old. I know I had them at a young age but nothing is plan in life they’re my reason to keep fighting for. They gave me the courage to go to school and build a better life for them. We love to stay home watch movies especially in rainy days with extra butter on our popcorn and we also love spending time with our family we are Hispanic so family means a lot to us. I recently put my two boys into football because I want them to stay out of trouble and be occupied. We like to eat pizza, we also love wings, and if I get someone money left over I like to treat them to olive garden but we mostly stay at home and eat homemade meals . I have a note 5 that my dad gave me for my birthday last years. What I really like is a laptop so I can take it every where I go to finish my work from school. I’m so busy with work, my kids , and their sport and I can’t do it on my phone.

Liberty – Age 16, Grade 11

I was in a rough patch but then I was given the opportunity to come to Winfree, and try to graduate instead of being a high school dropout. I took that chance, I was put in a place where I shouldn’t have been, but I still try to make the negative the positive and remember that I get the chance to graduate early. I want to go to UNT and I want to become a lawyer. I want to graduate high school this year so I can finish the process of being a lawyer at a younger age. Giving to me means that you feel that the person deserves something or just feel like being a good person that day and you want to share the happiness that you have to someone else who doesn’t get much happiness. I’m in need of socks (I prefer ankle) and unmentionables (14 teens) and some basketball shoes (7 1/2) and some hair ties. But it would make me happy and my Christmas more special would be some art utensils or maybe even some jewelry or and ipod shuffle and some head phones. I live with my mom and brother and my mom’s paste tense relationship kid (it is very complicated.) My mom brings me to school and picks me up, but friends bring me home after basketball practices. No I do not have any kids and don’t plan on having kids till I am financially stable. I like to hang out with my friends and when I get the chance I like to go fishing. I like to eat at Wing Stop, Panda Express, Jack in the Box, Chick-FIl-A,Starbucks and Subway. Yes, I do have a cellphone, it’s a Galaxy 6S and my mom’s past boyfriend got it for me last Christmas. And he got one for my brother as well and put it under my mom’s name.

Michael – Age 18, Grade 12

The greatest obstacle I’ve been able to overcome throughout my high school life is me beating the stereotypes of what the economy calls my generation. I found my determination to get away and improve my life at the age of 10. My focus now is to get my diploma and after this I do not know what I want to do next. I do know that I want to be the one to change the world. I tend to give with whatever resources I have. So far its my work ethic and determination that people I’ve helped needed. I’m not sure of any physical needs but I would like to find another motivation to keep me pushing through this long road of struggles. I love alone, no kids or current relationship. My mode or means of transportation are my two legs. Mathematics is my fun. When it comes to food, I am a person who will buy groceries before fast food. I own a phone.

Angie – Age 18, Grade 12

The biggest obstacle course that I have been facing on my road to graduation would be when I was barely entering high school and got pregnant. I’m not going to say that I have overcome my obstacle because I still haven’t. It’s been a real struggle trying to balance school and a baby at the same time, but so far I’m doing it as best that I can. I believe that if I want to overcome this I need to graduate high school and go off to college and become what I want to be and that’s an OBGYN. I want to be able to give my son everything he needs because giving means so much to me, not only to my son but to others, because I believe giving means helping someone in need even if its emotionally or physically. I’m the type of person that gives not receives, because I honestly don’t know what I would need or want to make me happy but, the only thing I could really want would be to see my son happy. I live with my son’s father and his mom in her apartment with her husband and sons, so far its fine but I know my son and I need to leave soon. My sons name is Miguel and he’s three, I love to spend time with him and his father anywhere we can go or be. Once in a while when my son’s father and I can afford it we go out to eat just the three of us to Cici’s or Pluckers, and sometimes on Saturday mornings when we can we love to go to iHop, those are the best moments I love when I get to be with just them two. I always try to facetime them where ever I am when I’m not with them with the iPhone 6 my brother gave me. I use to have a really messed up phone and so my brother decided to give me his old iPhone 6 because he told me for once I should have something nice, even if the screen was broken but he said he would fix it for me later. I hope i answered all of your questions and thank you for reading my application.

Destiny – Age 18, Grade 12

1. What is the greatest obstacle you have overcome on the road to High School Graduation? What steps have you taken to overcome the obstacle? I think making it to my last year of school was my greatest obstacle because I had to work hard to get to it. I had to walk to school if I did not have a ride or if I missed the bus. I also had to take more classes just to get my grade higher.
2. What are your plans for after high-school and why? I hope to go to collage or if I can go to collage then find a good job and work hard.
3. What does giving mean to you? Giving to me mean having the kindness in your heart to help someone else even when you can’t.
4. What item(s) are you most in need of, or would make your Christmas more special? I need clothes or a pair of shoes if not that then anything I would just be happy to get something.
5. Who do you live with? I stay with my boyfriend and his family.
6. How do you get to school and/or work? I get a ride from my boyfriend when he not at work.
7. Do you have children? no
1. If yes, what are their ages and genders? No kid
8. What do you like to do for fun? Listing to music is fun for me and drawing even playing videos games.
9. Where are some places you like to eat? Jack in the box and sonic.
10. Do you have a cell phone? No
1. If yes, what kind? No phone

Nina – Age 18, Grade 12

Hello, my name is Nina. I go to Winfree Academy, and I want to tell you all I can about who I am and what I am about. Let’s starts with the basics and move up from there, shall we? I am sure the basic question everyone asks someone new or someone they are trying to get to know besides their name is what do you like to do for fun? To answer that question I love to sing, however, my favorite part of the day is playing with my son. I do have 1 child; he is a 1 year old and his name is Jonah. He is my light and my motivation, and he always knows how to make mommy laugh. When getting to know someone you can’t forget about what they like to eat or where, can you? Well, for me, I love Italian food so anywhere that I can get pizza or pasta and I’m there. I can always find a good Italian place with this app on my phone, which I have the iPhone 6, which tells me where the best Italian food is from wherever I am. I always make sure to check it if I am planning on going out to eat.
I bet you are all wondering if it is hard being a parent and going to school and work, etc. I will tell you right here that yes it is hard sometimes but you got to do what you got to do to have a better future for your family. I have my own car so when it comes to getting to school or work or anywhere else it makes it a lot easier and because I live with my mom, she is able to watch him when I go to school or if I go to work which I am extremely grateful for.
While being in school and being a mom is quite hard, I would say my biggest obstacle I have had to overcome was definitely when I was pregnant and everyone expected me to not be able to graduate or get where I wanted to be. I had to show them that they were wrong, that no matter when you get pregnant at a young age or when you’re a lot older. You can achieve anything you wanted to before a baby. Whether or not you have to work harder to get there doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible. You can do anything you set your mind too and it is my goal to prove that to anyone and everyone that told me I couldn’t get where I am. Now I only have 1.5 credits left and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. I guess I could be, it will be when I am walking the stage, with my son. Everyone wants to be something in life, or just have a reason for graduating high school and moving on to college. My reason is I want to be a teacher actually, a 3rd grade teacher to be exact. I guess I will never really leave school and I am perfectly fine with that.
Well, it is finally November which means it’s almost thanksgiving and after that, Christmas! Let’s go about how I feel about each holiday coming up. Don’t worry I will try not to bore your ears off, I am just going to talk about thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving time everyone asks what does giving mean to you? I love questions like this because it really makes you dig deep into yourself and find what you think giving really is. What giving means to me is, putting a smile on someone else’s face without expecting anything in return. Giving means sharing something or a moment with someone and having the best feeling in the pit of your stomach because you know you made someone else happy. There really is nothing like it. Now let’s talk about Christmas. What would make yours even more special? What do you want or need for Christmas that would make the holiday spirit in you completely spark? For me, it would be, being able to get my son enough Christmas presents. My holiday wish would be to see him happy, and playing with all the new stuff he got on Christmas morning. I haven’t ever been able to buy him whatever I knew he would like. Going to school and work and having a babysitter and having to get gas and bills money has been tight. This year I am working extra hard and I‘ll be able to get him something he will absolutely love hopefully.
I know that at this point I am probably boring you to death with all this talk about me, but I hope you even slightly enjoyed reading. You can learn a lot from a person if you ask the right question, remember that. You could even ask these questions to yourself, you might learn something you never knew about yourself before.


Shelby – Age 23, Grade 11

My road to getting my education hasn’t been an easy one. I’ve experienced many turbulence’s in my life that lead me to drop out of high school during my 9th grade year. I had little in my life that was good and my self esteem was so low I allowed my self to become victim to an abusive boyfriend. My family wanted to support me but they got tired of watching me be beat day after day. When I was 18 I found out I was pregnant with my still abusive boyfriend. My daughter was born in December 2011 and became the biggest blessing of my life. At 20 years of age I decided I needed to get my high school diploma to show my daughter that education is important. Winfree opened their doors to me and took me in. I’m now 23 and I will graduate in June 2017. I have worked for Walmart for almost 4 years and they have been great to me, but I do want to go to college. I want to become a psychologist and help people that are going through things like I did. I feel like I can help others by sharing my experiences. This year has been a struggle financially and my biggest fear is that I won’t be able to give my almost 5 year old daughter a Christmas. She is the light of my life and her smile is what gives me strength to keep going on. I want to see her face glow with a smile from ear to ear on Christmas. We don’t really eat out much because money is tight but we do like McDonalds and Chick Filet. Again all that I want is to give my baby girl a Christmas.

Alexa – Age 18, Grade 12

1). The greatest obstacle for me to overcome on the road to high school was staying sober, dealing with the consequences that my old-lifestyle brought to me. I was never really a part of the normal people in high school. I never understood why they were so happy and how they could get through living everyday and coming to school. I was a very depressed kid. I had to find something to numb me so I dropped out of school and began to do hardcore drugs everyday. Things like heroine, methamphetamines, cocaine. I was kicked out of my house and lived in hotel rooms or sometimes on the streets. I couldn’t find a way to make money anymore so I met a guy. He was a pimp and he called me his girlfriend, I saw him beat so many girls but it was the only way I had shelter, and money. Soon he started beating me too. I finally decided to run away. But I hallucinated him and used to talk to him, my friend realized and told my mom, I ended up in a mental hospital where they gave me many medications. Then my mom and the nurses at the mental hospital begged me to go to rehab. I was in rehab from July through the end of August. I came out and picked my life back up, I saw my class graduate before I did, and it made me upset but knowing that I still had an opportunity to graduate was awesome. Since I’ve started school I’ve had to miss a lot of days due to me being sick, going to see a psychiatrist, or just body issues like STD’s and back pain, ovary cysts. I noticed I was quickly falling behind and became depressed. But my mom pushed me, so when I miss school I do my work at home which helps me catch up. I have a job and I work a lot I got to work straight after school but I’ve pushed myself to get school work done after I come home from my job.
2). My plans after high school are to go to a college or university I will be able to afford, there I will get my bachelor’s degree in human services to become a probation officer. I want this for me because during my addiction one of my biggest supporters was my probation officer, I loved what she did for me and I want to help other people over come what they are going through, I know I will be good at it because I’ve been through it all.
3). Giving to me means making somebody happy. When I have given stuff to someone there’s this great feeling right after because I’ve made somebody happy.
4). I feel like the item I most need right now is money, I don’t have a car I’m trying to save up money for one and have a hard time getting around. It feels like forever for me to get the money I need to buy a car.
5). I live with my mom, my step dad, and my two little sisters.
6). My mom takes me to school and work or sometimes I have to take the bus to work.
7). No children.
8). What I like to do for fun is watch my favorite show of the Walking Dead with my little sister, I also like to attend sober events that my AA meetings have, we just had a Halloween event, where I had to get some Halloween make up done for like 3 people. I also love doing people’s make up, and going to the movies with my friends, I love scary movies.
9). Some places I like to eat are Chick-fil-A that’s definitely my favorite, Freebirds, Panda express, IHOP, and Sonic.
10.)I have a cellphone I have an Iphone 7 that I worked so hard for.

Harmony – Age 16, Grade 9

I’ve gone through a lot of drama , a lot of “I don’t want to go to school” , and the basic getting in trouble to get sent out of class or suspended from school. Right now I’m having a child with my boyfriend , his name is Christopher but I just call him Chris.. I’m only starting my 16th week so im basically 4 month and will be giving birth to a baby boy on April 16th , But since im pregnant it makes things harder on me with getting up for school and focusing on my work and still trying to figure thing out for me and my future family . I plan on finishing up school but im not sure I can finnish now or when my baby is born, my plan is to do as much as possible right now, and once my baby’s born I will start school again and just get a simple job. After I am able to absolutely finish High School I do plan to be a stay at home mom but that doesn’t always happen so my back up plan will be to go to online collage to become a fashion designer for cheap pregnancy clothes for woman like me who cant really afford their clothes , That’s my thoughts on giving because I had a lot of people give me clothes and most women don’t have people to had the down clothes they don’t need so I think it would be best to give other the things they need at a cheaper cost. Personally I don’t really need anything for Christmas what I really need is stuff for my baby and maybe some help for my father , im really trying to help my find a place and if he gets a 2 bedroom my boyfriend and I would go stay with him and help him get on his feet .. that would be a Christmas dream of mine , to help my did in his time of need. Right now I live with my boyfriend and his parents , I know he’s ready to get out of the house and my dad and us get along really well so we’d like to be more close to him. Since my boyfriend takes me to school, picks me up and takes me to places I need to go means a lot but I’d like to be able to take myself and let him do what he likes without feeling like he always has to take me somewhere I mean like I have a phone so id be able to get a ride if I really need one .. but I hope that soon I get a new phone because this one really works my nerves but I put up with it so I can get ahold of the ones I really need to ! Most the time I love to spend time with Chris and go out to eat to a hole lot of places, my most favorite places are Mexican restraints but I like to spend more time with my baby’s father then do anything else.

Max – Age 18, Grade 11

That would be coming to school and staying focused the whole time. plans after high school? I would like to sell my art work for a living. Giving to me is doing good things because they are good and not to get credit for doing those good things. Christmas would be more special if I got virtual reality head set for my Playstation4 or a car haha that would be crazy! I live with my mom sister and brother. my mom takes me to work and school I work 1am to 5am just started my new job at winco. I don’t have children what I do for fun is play games and when I go to my grandpas I go fishing sometimes just with a hook no bait just because maybe I don’t want to catch a perch every 2 min haha. I like to eat at my new job, winco has a lot of good food and cheap stuff they have these house made sandwiches they are goooood.yes I have a cell phone it is a htc one.