Student Stories



How do you go from living life on the edge and not caring about consequences to thinking twice about everything you do, how it will affect your life and the lives of those around you? Juan will tell you it’s because he couldn’t break his mother’s heart and because of Dallas Can Academy.

From as early as Pre-K, Juan fought every day of his life. He confessed, “I was hardheaded and short fused like almost everyone in my family.” According to Juan, he managed to skate through school despite his constant fighting until ninth grade. “Teachers and friends tried to help me out in middle school even though I kept getting into trouble. They must have seen something in me I didn’t see. I thought everyone, including my parents, had given up on me.” he explained.

When he started high school, everyone thought Juan was a bad seed because of the way he dressed. “People didn’t understand I cared about school even though I got into trouble,” Juan said. He was so bored, he didn’t see any sense in staying at school for eight hours, so he stopped going altogether. Hanging with his friends was a lot more fun. Eventually the administrators tried to send him to alternative school because of truancy and fighting. He came to Dallas Can Academy instead. “My friends thought this school was crunk. They were wrong. Everyone here is different, but uniforms help make us the same. We’re all here for one reason, to get a good education so we can graduate.”
This was not the end of Juan’s story. Even though he liked Dallas Can, he was expelled after three weeks. He was still fighting. This time Juan decided to start working in a factory instead of going back to school. Things were relatively sane until Juan’s family heard that his older brother had been killed in Mexico. Juan reflected, “Momma cried for the first time ever when she got the news about my brother. I stepped up my game because I didn’t want that to happen to me.” Luckily, Dallas Can Academy gave Juan another chance. They kept pushing him to be good. “The advisors are like strict parents running a boot camp. The kids need boundaries. If it wasn’t like that, many kids would have dropped out.” he said.

Thanks to the accelerated program at Dallas Can Academy, Juan made up one year of school in six months. “Even though I always knew education was important, other stuff in life got me off track, but Dallas Can put me back on the right path. Now I’m the person my parents always wanted me to be,” he said proudly. Juan is going to mechanic school so he can open up his own business. Now he feels good about himself and there is no reason for him to fight any more.


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