Student Stories



Tiffany is calm, serene, wise and strong-minded like her parents. Her parents never graduated from high school, so they were determined to see their eight children get their diplomas. Five kids have graduated already. Tiffany will be the sixth. She followed her two sisters to Houston Can Academy because her public school was overcrowded, there were too many disruptive students, and the teachers didn’t seem to care what, if anything, she was learning. Her sisters told her the students at Houston Can Academy were great and the teachers made their subjects relevant and fun. They were right!

Tiffany was just starting to come into her own at Houston Can Academy when she was faced with an alarming diagnosis. She had leukemia. Once the shock wore off, Tiffany began a rigorous treatment plan including bone marrow transplants and an aggressive chemotherapy program. She was determined to beat this thing. During the treatment process, Tiffany was hospitalized for two months. She was weak and pale, but she always uplifted everyone else’s spirits. “My sister Megan never left my side. I can’t tell you what a great comfort that was to me,” she confided.
Tiffany’s teachers and advisors from Houston Can Academy came to the hospital not only to cheer her up, but also to help her keep up with her studies. Unfortunately, no matter how hard they tried, Tiffany had still fallen a year behind. Houston Can Academy was not about to let Tiffany’s illness hold her back. Once her cancer was in remission, the school put together a plan for her to catch up that included both morning and afternoon sessions. They also provided tutoring and emotional support to keep her motivated. Tiffany will be graduating on time. She said, “It’s been a real team effort and one that I could only have achieved at Houston Can Academy.”

Tiffany has a job as a dental assistant this summer. She wants to go to the University of Texas in Austin and eventually go into law enforcement. Tiffany wants to put people behind bars who can’t abide by the law. You can tell this is very personal for her. She’s seen things on the street and in her family that should never have happened, and she’s bound and determined to prevent them from happening to others. There is no doubt that Tiffany will be as relentless in this pursuit as she was in her battle with cancer.


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