Growing up, if I didn't have my two priorities taken care of—my chores and my homework—then there was a problem. My grandmother, who raised me because my mother suffered from chronic alcoholism, always reminded me that education was the most important thing because it's what gets you through life. And while I took her words to heart, I didn't always act on them.
In high school, I started to rebel. I was still going to my classes and running track, though I was drinking and doing hard drugs. In my heart, I knew my education was important, but my lack of confidence let other things get in the way. I wasn't ready to take school seriously and made the decision to drop out.
In my later teens and twenties, things got worse. I was in and out of prison, struggled with drug addiction, and spent time living on the streets. During this time, I also had my daughter and son. I lost custody of both of them when they were very young. I wasn't ready to care for them in the way they needed. Thankfully, my grandmother and aunt were able to step in and help raise them. It was a dark time in my life, and I honestly wasn't sure if there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
Motivation to Change
Then one day, everything changed.
On New Year's Day in 2012, I started to feel a strange pain in my back. I had recently been released from prison and was trying to get my life in order. But, I would have to put those plans on hold. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully, after rounds of chemotherapy, I went into remission.
Surviving yet another hurdle life threw in my way pushed me to change for the better. I was finally ready to make bettering myself through education my priority. I was concerned that starting down this road as an adult learner wouldn't offer a lot of options, and I wouldn't have a choice where believed I could be successful.
Choosing the Right School
Rather than going back to a traditional school, I decided to take classes in a virtual classroom through The Keystone School. Through the online platform, I'm able to fit in my coursework at times that work best for me, while tending to my family, and still getting the personalized attention I need.
One of the best things about my experience with The Keystone School has been my teachers. They are amazing. My teachers work with me one-to-one—something that's important to me for subjects I find tricky, like writing. They take time to arrange calls, go over papers, and talk about what I'm struggling with personally. My teachers do everything they can to make sure I'm on track and thriving.
After years of fighting, I'm finally making up for lost time. I'm spending time with my children, am married to my wife and best friend, and am just a few credits shy of my high school diploma. I wasn't ready as a teenager, but now I'm committed to my education. With the support of my instructors and family, I know that I can conquer whatever comes next—hopefully college!
KEYWORDS: Adult Learners, Constant Improvement, Courses, Flexibility, Student Stories, Teacher Engagement, Unlocking Potential, School Options