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Growing up at the age of seventeen I had many struggles. I loved to have fun and also liked school. Learning was always interesting to me; I just didn’t have that much motivation once my grades would slip from test scores or something. These things were important, I know, but at the moment I was really having a hard time keeping up. Plus, my family and I would always randomly have to move from state to state. I was never in school for a whole school year. It finally got to the point where I didn’t care anymore and just said, 'forget it.' I was tired of just going to school.

Life got tougher with me and my mom. She got weary of me getting in trouble and sent me off to Texas with my sister and step-dad. I strongly disliked her at the point and I certainly showed it. We got down there and I met my “now” baby’s father. Everything was looking so much nicer with him. I felt like I had my own little perfect life; until he had to move back home. Once he left everything for me felt like it went downhill. I found myself depressed and lonely. I started skipping school, smoking, and doing stuff I had no right doing. Well, I ended up leaving Texas with my family and coming back home. I then noticed I was a bad role model towards my younger siblings.

Later on in the year I found out that education does make a differences and improves things. Being here at Gateway reminded me how good I have it at home and how it feels to have your freedom token away from you. I’ve learned it is one of the better things in life. 'If you want to be successful the person will have to go after what they want themselves. It doesn’t just come to them.'

Gateway provided encouraging help. They also helped me to see my strengths and weaknesses. I progressed a lot and I feel I’ve overcome some of my life struggles. Going home is an honor I’m willing to take, but I’m thinking realistically about the life ahead of me and raising my little girl. I plan to take what all I learned and put it all in action."

-Jeanette, GW resident