Student Stories



When Lexia was six, her mom was murdered by a friend. Since Lexia’s dad was in jail, her grandparents were given custody. “My grandpa has been like my dad my whole life,” said Lexia with a sparkle in her eyes. Even though her grandparents loved her and took good care of her, Lexia had huge issues with anger and depression. And after a while,
her grandparents just couldn’t help her. “One day I was a happy kid, making As and Bs. The next day I was into drugs, sex, stealing, cussing, and staying out all night. I did anything to escape my pain.” When Lexia was eleven, she was in and out of mental hospitals and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Her grandparents couldn’t handle Lexia’s mood changes and they couldn’t afford the medical bills, so they asked Child Protective Services for help.

Lexia’s grandparents never abandoned her; they were always there even as she bounced from one home to another. She was irritable and angry. “I didn’t trust people at all because I felt my mom had abandoned me. I always thought she would come home, but she didn’t. No one had really sat down and explained death to me.” Lexia just figured it out when she was older. After getting kicked out of school at the last girls’ home, Lexia came to Houston Can Academy. This was her final chance to complete her high school education. For three years everything went well. Then, one day she just dropped out. Lexia was suffering from depression that was triggered by seeing many of her friends and teachers leave the school. Again, she felt abandoned. It wasn’t until her advisor came knocking on her door that she even thought of going back to Houston Can Academy. “If it wasn’t for my advisor tracking me down and my husband encouraging me, I wouldn’t be graduating today,” she announced.

As Lexia talked about her experience at Houston Can Academy, she emphasized the fact that these teachers knew how to get through to her and helped her pass TAKS the first time. She said, “I didn’t do well at my old school because classes were boring, teachers didn’t care about us and there was no discipline. I know I need structure.”

Lexia now faces the challenges of balancing college along with caring for her three stepchildren and a baby due in five months. That’s a lot of responsibility for a nineteen year old. “I love challenges and children. I’ve always had to work hard. Nothing has ever been handed to me and I don’t want it that way,” she declared. Lexia wants to be a radiologist, a career path that she and her grandfather are excited about. His approval is as important to her today as it was growing up. Lexia knows her family, and the people at Houston Can Academy, will not abandon her no matter what lies ahead.


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