Student Stories



There was a time when Ana didn’t have much hope for what her future might hold. Her days were filled with severe bouts of depression, sadness and even thoughts of suicide.

Today, Ana is a new mom, wife and a young woman who sees a positive outlook for herself and her family’s future. She credits Houston Can! Academy Hobby campus for helping change her life and providing the foundation she needed to pursue her dream of becoming a registered nurse. “When I was going to South Houston High School, I was always fighting, hanging out with the wrong crowd and not going to class,” said Ana. “I knew if I stayed there I wasn’t going to be able graduate so I could better my life.” Ana, like many at-risk students who attend Houston Can! Academy, just needed an educational environment to give them the hope to become somebody extraordinary despite the challenges they have faced in their life. “I came here three years ago in the middle of tenth grade,” she explained. “The environment has been really good. There haven’t been any fights and the teachers really care and take time. My favorite classes were reading and parenting, which was very helpful, especially since I was about to have a baby and I learned a lot.” Ana found teacher expectations to be high, but that they were always there for support. “I failed the TAKS once the science part, but I passed all the other subjects on the first try,” she said. “The teachers gave us a lot of extensive tutoring for the test which helped. If you want to come here and take care of your business, you can definitely do it here.” Part of the first graduating class of 2008, Ana didn’t wait to get her diploma before starting to take a few nursing classes at San Jacinto College. She says she is up for the challenge of finishing the four year program while juggling school, work and motherhood duties for her son, Julio Jr. “My sister died of AIDS and I wanted to be a Doctor, but that was going to take too long, explained Ana. “I still wanted to be in the medical field so that I can help others, and nursing is a good way to make a difference.”


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