Student Stories



“I was 12-years-old when I had a knife put to my throat because I didn’t want to do things my boyfriend wanted me to do.

For years I was mentally and physically abused by him, I thought this was okay, this is what a normal relationship is like. I thought it was a healthy relationship, but reality isn’t always as good as it looks.”

Unfortunately, Janae’s discrepancies on the definition of healthy relationships stemmed from the home she grew up in.

“We live in a 2 bedroom apartment. I share a room with my sister and my other sister shares a room with my mom. At my house it’s nothing, but negativity all the way around. My family, there’s no support there. It’s dead, it’s a desert every day. There is no ‘how was your day or what did you learn today. There’s nothing. It’s just earphones in. You mind your business, go to sleep, and close the door, that’s it. It’s not a real family.”

Longing for the love and support she never knew, she became lost and confused.

“I dropped out of school. I ran away, I did drugs, and began to steal. I did that for 3 years, until one day I realized I needed to grow up the right way, not like my family. I have worked 3 jobs before and dealt with school. So it’s hard for me to sit there and study while being around people who don’t want to do anything with their life. It’s like how do you focus or concentrate when you’re in that type of environment? Even with your parents, they don’t want to see you grow because you’re growing faster than they ever have. Growing up my mom would always leave us with my grandmother. She was never there for me. She would even fight my daddy for never being there when she was never there either.”

Finally, after Janae realized her family would never change, she decided to embark on a new journey. She wanted to make something of her life, but she couldn’t return to her old school because she had lost all her credits.

Texans Can Academies became her second chance at life.

“People would say it’s for bad people, they steal, and smoke weed, but I learned so fast how wrong they are. From the second I walked in here, my advisors always looked after me. You always have people that care about you and want to see you grow. I never had anything like it in my old school or at home. Not one counselor tried to talk to me at my old school. I actually didn’t know who she was. Here it’s so different. I have multiple people. It’s just ears all wanting to listen and are always eager to see you grow. That’s exactly what happened. My whole mindset has grown. My mom would always say no one wants someone as dumb as a door knob. It was because I’m a little slower at catching on to things, but I never let it stop me. I keep asking questions until I learn it. Learning actually became so much easier with Marquez Reading [an innovative curriculum created by Richard Marquez, Texans Can President / CEO]. It was like I didn’t really know how to read before this school. It helps me so much. Even when I’m nervous and scared I’ll mess up on a word, I know how to figure it out now. Also, here you don’t have kids laughing at you when you mess up, they try to help you, unlike a regular school. At Texans Can we never tear each other down, we’re always here to help.”

As Janae continued to progress and soar through Texans Can, Miss Michelli, the assistant principal, told her about the Certified Nursing Assistant Program offered at the school.

“I was so nervous I wouldn’t get accepted, but I knew this was for me. When they first pulled me out of class to tell me I cried, I couldn’t stop crying. It was the first time I felt like I did something right. Then, my mom finally started to see the change in me and how much happier I am, but she continues to bring up my past as I’m trying to grow. So one day, this lady from church took me into her family to give me another outlet, so I wouldn’t be stuck in a negative space. She asks how I’m doing and even offers to pick me up, so I can get out of there. But I know I’m doing right, whether she likes it or not. Now I believe this isn’t my stopping point, it’s only the beginning. I tell my friends who sound like they want to come here it’s a great school. Although it’s only four hours, you do a lot of work. It’s hard, but we can do it. The teachers never let you down. Believe me when I say, no one at Texans Can will ever let you down. Some kids have kids and that’s okay. The staff here keeps motivating you no matter the situation. I can promise you it’s nothing like any other school. Friends and sometimes even family can only take you so far. If it’s nothing but negativity after that, where are you going? You just have to be willing to try new things, meet new people, the right people that will help you get somewhere in life like everyone here at Texans Can.”


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