Student Stories



John was brought up in a turbulent family, so in many ways the path he followed is not unexpected. His mom had lupus and bone cancer from the time he was very young. To make matters worse, as far back as John can remember his dad abused his mom and all of the kids. No one escaped his wrath. The family owned a restaurant and worked hard. One day, John’s dad hit his mom in front of customers and that was the final straw. She wasn’t willing to sacrifice herself or her family for her marriage any longer. At long last, they got divorced.

John saw his dad on his birthday after the divorce and he started asking questions about his mom. “I told him I didn’t think it was my place to give out any information. He started kicking me on the floor with his steel-toed boots. I lay there crying as he threatened me with a hammer” he recalled. Somehow John escaped and went to his grandma’s house. His grandma tried to make things better, but John found it difficult to recover. It wasn’t until middle school that John started getting into trouble. He hung around with the wrong crowd, but thankfully they didn’t corrupt him too much. John just didn’t care much about anything.

San Antonio Can High School was the only high school John ever attended. He enrolled right from middle school because he wanted to get to college as quickly as possible. He considered it a privilege to come to San Antonio Can High School. The four-hour schedule allowed him to go to school in the morning and take care of his mom in the afternoon. After two short weeks, John was sent to a juvenile detention center for a year for possession of an explosive weapon and a controlled substance. “That experience matured me quickly. I didn’t know what I had until it was gone. I also found out who my real friends were,” he said. The people he considered his friends didn’t visit him. His dad didn’t come either. The only person he saw was his mom. He had a lot of time to think and read in jail. John decided that even after everything his dad had done to him, it was important to forgive him.

As soon as John was released from juvenile detention, he returned to San Antonio Can High School. He had lost two hundred pounds and had grown spiritually. At school, he kept to himself to stay out of trouble and to make sure he didn’t break his probation. John completed four years of school in two years at San Antonio Can High School. He’ll be sixteen when he graduates. “The teachers at this school are special. They get you to think about things that matter. My advisor has helped me with my probation officer and my mom. She’s my top priority.” John said. His brothers and sisters help care for her, but John does most of it. Now his mom spends her time in bed trying to cope with the pain. He will be there for her, but hasn’t lost sight of what he wants for his future. John wants to work and go to college to be a forensic profiler. Right now he’s working on getting a scholarship to fulfill that dream.


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