Student-Success-Dillon-Powell-Small

Hear my story of how I succeeded at Respect Academy:

My Steps To Success:

  • Realized that I can change my life
  • Enrolled at Respect Academy
  • Was consistent with my job
  • Graduated in 2015

My Story:

Karrina Valdez use to live a life with struggle.

Living with just her mother and being the oldest of her 3 siblings, she’s had a lot of pressure to be the proper role model for family members. As easy as that may sound, it hasn’t been for Karrina.

When Karrina would come home and didn’t know if she had foot to eat, she felt crushed and utterly defeated…

Yet, thanks to Respect Academy, Karrina managed to pull through, and is happily and eagerly looking forward to her graduation, and receiving her diploma.

Perhaps you have an unrelated school problem going on in your life???Give Karrina’s story a read, and perhaps it’ll be able to help you get through the story of your life.


David:

Today we have Karina Valdez on the other line. She is a current student. She’s a senior at Respect Academy. She’s 18 years old.

How are you doing today, Karrina?

Karrina:

Good.

David:

Good good. I just want to start off by asking you,

Is there a famous success quote you live by, and why?

Karrina:
Umm, my quote would be “Survive, conquer, and overcome.” because I feel like in life, those are the 3 steps you should live by. Get through whatever you’re going through, conquer it, and overcome whatever situation you’re in.

“Survive, conquer, and overcome.”

David:

Wow, yeah…, I totally have to agree with you there.

Can you tell me, your experience, what it’s been like since you’ve joined Respect Academy?

Karrina:

Since I’ve started going to school there, my whole aspect on school has changed. I went to school where I wasn’t helped a lot. And I started going to Respect, as in my last option, and at first I was hesitant about it, and they were telling me about the family, and was just brushing it off. But by the time it was a month or two into school, it really was. I had a family a whole no family that supported me and made sure that I did everything I could to be successful.

“my whole aspect on school has changed.”

“I had a family a whole new family that supported me and made sure that I did everything I could to be successful.”

David:

Wow.

Can you tell me what your life was like before you joined Respect Academy

Karrina:
Before I was always ditching school… Bad group of friends… Didn’t care about anything I just I… I used to say school wasn’t for me.

David:

Wow.

And how do you feel about school now?

Karrina:

I love going, I love going everyday. I don’t,… try to skip class unless it’s necessary. I go and I’m excited to learn and excited to see all my teachers and principle.

“I love going, I love going everyday.”

David:

That’s awesome. It sounds to me that you have a better experience, that you thoroughly enjoy going to school versus dreading it. Is that right?

Karrina:

Yes.

David:

That’s really awesome to hear.

Where do you feel, Karrina… was your biggest success? What area in your life do you feel like you’ve achieved the most success over the past year or two, being at Respect Academy?

Karrina:

Probably that I wasn’t going to be able to graduate at a normal high school and I went to Respect and they propped me up so much that, now I know for sure that I will be able to get my high school diploma, before the end like I won’t even have to go a whole school year this year.

David:
You know, maybe at some point in your life where you just realized, “Okay. I need to make a change. I need to start taking some steps.”

And what were those steps that you took to start changing your perspective on school and just the way you view life?

Karrina:

I went to register at my high school it was for 3 years. And they just flat out told me I was not going to graduate. And I didn’t know what to do… I started panicking I started talking to mom. And Respect Academy was recommended to me. So I went, and I talked to the principal. And she showed me all my classes I need and what need to do. And steps really were like just going to meet the principal and then going to the orientation. And actually making the decision that, “Okay, this will be that school that I’m going to.”

David:

And what’s you’re favorite part about respect academy? What’s your favorite thing that goes on during your day?

Kerrina:
My favorite things about the school is just family. It really is a family. I can have something going on completely unrelated to my school work. And if I need somebody, I can go up to any teacher, staff member, principal in the school. And they help you.

Like so much opportunities to help me through anything.

“It really is a family.”

“ so much opportunities to help me through anything.”

David:

Can you tell me a specific story something where maybe someone that’s listening can resonate with? What’s a story of where you feel where someone was really there for you and was like a family member?

Kerrina:

I had some my family… my mom and my step dad. My mom wasn’t having enough money to buy us all the groceries that we needed. And when I can home, she was crying and just me and 3 other sibling here. And I came home and she’s stressed out. and I went and sat with the social worker. She’s not there any more. She was an intern. And umm for months not even weeks, months on end, she would come up to me and give me these King Soopers cards of $25 on each one. And for awhile that’s like my mom would be so happy. I’d come home, and the first time I got’em, I brought them to my mom and was like, “Here mom, here’s 2 cards worth $50” and my mom was just so happy that like, you know I was able to go to somebody and tell them, and they helped me out of a situation like they fed my family.

… my mom wasn’t having enough money to buy us all the groceries that we needed.

… I went and sat with the social worker.

… for months not even weeks, months on end, she would come up to me and give me these King Soopers cards of $25 on each one.

… they fed my family.


David:

Wow

Karrina:

For a time that we couldn’t.

David:

So it sounds to me, maybe a couple of years ago, you would have been the person who didn’t really care about school. You wouldn’t have done anything about it. But now, you’re at a school where you feel like you have a family. And while your personal family is in trouble, not only did you take action, but you made something happen. You reached out to some and they they helped you, and your family.

Karrina:

Yeah.

David:

That’s that’s a pretty cool transformation. So why do you feel like success is so important to you?

Karrina:

To me it’s kinda like I want to other stupid things. My mom at 16. She wasn’t able to finish high school. She tried, she struggle so hard with me as a baby, but she didn’t make it. And so I’m gonna be the first one to go to college. And I also have 3 younger siblings who I love like with all of me, and they look up to me. So when I was messing up in school, I was scared they’re gonna get it in their head that they shouldn’t do it. Which is being a hypocrite because I wasn’t doing it, but I just, now I just want to prove to them that, it’s possible and that it’s really important you do this.

“I’m gonna be the first one [of her family] to go to college.”

David:

Wow So it sounds to me, Karrina, that you really value your family. You’re the oldest of 3 siblings, is that right?

Karrina:
Yeah

David:

Yeah, no! I have 3 younger siblings, so I totally understand that responsibility you feel, you know, whatever you’re doing you feel like “Okay, whatever I’m doing they’re gonna do as well.” So whether that’s something you’re doing good and leading thy example, or going down the wrong path. And leading them the wrong way. And it sounds to me you really understand that concept, and that you take it to heart.

Karrina:
Yeah

David:
And then you mentioned college, so now you’re thinking about college huh??

Karrina:

Yeah, I am.

David:

So, what excites you every day? What excites you when you wake up? What do you look forward to throughout your day?

Karrina:

Umm as in going to school or just in general?

David:
Just in general.

Karrina:

Honestly, it’s still has to do with school because now that I now honestly I tell people all the time, “friends, family, I can’t wait to go back to school, and finish school, and start college. And have this career like I have years planned in my, and that’s just what I I wake up everyday like waiting for that to happen.

“… honestly I tell people all the time, “friends, family, I can’t wait to go back to school, and finish school, and start college.”

David:

Where do you see yourself 10 years, if you fast forward your life in 10 years, where do you see yourself?

Karrina:
10 years I plan of have my career set. I plan on going for dental hygiene. I plan on having that job and sticking with it, you know Having a family. I just want to be able to not have a hard life. That’s what I really want. 10 years, I see myself being able to survive without struggle.

David:
And where do you see your family in 10 years?

Karrina:

I see them being better because me working hard It’s also for them. I want to be able to help them. You know! Have a little more money or help them if they need help. Get this so they don’t ever have to struggle again either.

David:
So, Karrina, let me ask you, if you met someone that was let’s just say a few years younger than you maybe their 15/16 years old, and they’re doing the wrong things They’re around the wrong crowd you know, they’re not really making good life choices they were struggling, and but, they were looking to improve, they were looking to change,

what piece of advice would you give that younger version of yourself?

Karrina:

I would say that what all the adults tell you is true. Like I know kids don’t like to go to school, so… I try to tell a bunch of kids that can like it’s not worth it. It’s so hard when you mess up. Just to have fun it’s so hard to catch back. Like if you just just have all your stuff, like just get through it and then have fun with your life. And then, if you’re around the wrong people doing the wrong things, make a change. Whether people like it or not, it’s your life. It’s not theirs. They’re not gonna have to deal with the consequence of your life with you messing up. So you might as well make it the best for yourself as you can.

“… what all the adults tell you is true.”

David:

And what specific advice what specific task could they do to improve? For example, what’s one of the biggest advices you’ve heard from an elder, a parent, something that you normally, a couple of years ago, would have said, “You know what, I don’t want to do that.” But now, you take it to heart and you take action on it.

What’s a piece of advice you’ve heard from an adult?

Karrina:

Just focus on school. Get it done. Don’t mess around. Just school school school until it’s done and then it’s out of your hair.

David:

(Laughing)…. Nice.

Well do you have anything else to say to anyone listening to this interview right now?

Karrina:

I would just like to give a lot of credit to the school Ms. Layner, the principle. Not even just her, just everybody. I have such a strong connection with them and I feel like a school like that should be replicated everywhere. It’s such a great school, it’s such as great experience. They really help you so something I’m really grateful for now that I’m able to notice I can appreciate it. And I appreciate it… a lot. And I just feel like that’s a great school.

David:

Wow well alright… Karrina, well I have to say thank you so much for being vulnerable for sharing your story and then just really enlightening the people that are listening right now. I have to say thank you so much for taking this time.

Karrina:
Yeah, of course.