Student Stories



Shawn’s mom was a single parent who raised five children alone. “My mom was independent; she was an evangelist and just a strong all around human being. Anyone with problems came to my mom,” he said. She always made sure Shawn and his brothers and sisters had what they needed. She worked at Nokia, in home healthcare, and then went back to college to become a radiologist. Halfway through school, she decided to open her own home healthcare business, which did extremely well.

Shawn was a popular kid, but a menace from the very start. He got suspended a few times from middle school, but didn’t start getting into serious trouble until high school. Shawn was never in a gang, but everyone thought he was because his uncle was a known drug dealer. When he started getting kicked out of school for fighting and skipping, Shawn’s mom told him he could follow her rules or move out. He chose to move out to live with his Auntie because she was more lenient. He reflected, “As my mom saw my future going down the drain, she came to my Auntie’s, pulled me by the ear, and got my attention. She made me open my eyes to see another point of view.”

Shawn came to Fort Worth Can Academy because he finally was kicked out of the entire Fort Worth Independent School District. He had heard about the school through friends. He said, “I thought Fort Worth Can Academy was the best school ever. The teachers were great and it was a better environment. The advisors stayed on me to make sure I graduated too.” His favorite class was math. The reason he liked that class is because he loves money. “You can’t have money if you don’t know numbers,” he quipped. He also liked economics because the teacher made the material relevant.

When he turns twenty-one, Shawn wants to get certified to be a truck driver. “I’m a father now so it’s not about being too good to do this or that, it’s about getting my kids what they need like my mom did for me,” he insisted.


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