Last evening I attended a graduation for a high school charter school that I serve on the school board with. It was moving. The school itself is a really a last chance charter school for kids who have had issues in other settings. Each kid has been expelled, had issues with bullying, did not fit in or was caught in circumstances that swept them up and generally prevented them from being successful in other environments. Each kid got the opportunity to thank those who had, over the years supported them. Of course family was most often thanked, teachers were given their due, but one kid thanked his doctor.
It was not uncommon for young ladies to thank their infant children for giving them enough of a push to graduate, their grandparents for taking them in when no one else did, or even neighbors for taking them in when no one else would. It was a moving ceremony most of the 58 graduates chose to speak, some did not.
One young man thanked his aunt. After being dismissed from a local public school, he drifted for a semester. Then his aunt made him promise that he would graduate and she passed suddenly. It took three years but he kept the promise. A young woman was out on her own while a sophomore and she needed a place to be a kid and an adult at same time. She found it at this school and with child in tow she thanked her toughest teachers.
About 20% of the class has been accepted at a local community college, something they or their parents could scarcely have imagined a few years ago, and their parents where pleased as could be to see their child’s success.
What I saw were examples of determination, grit, and yes some luck. Kids faced such long odds that making it over the finish line, even a standard finish line for most of use, was big news to them. The best part of the evening occurred at the end when parents, some of them who themselves had never graduated from High School hugged their children many while tears flowed.
I was never a great student in High School but I never felt like I would not make it. My parents gave me support, expectations, and they helped me chart a path. Many of these kids never had that. Also several kids just did not fit in a regular school setting. These are not the kids who get lost between the cracks. In fact many of these kids would have given a lot to get lost between the cracks. Unfortunately they were often bullied, taunted, harassed and not accepted. One of our valedictorians had difficulty facing the crowd as he spoke. He felt judged because of his disabilities.
The thing is many of our kids on this site and other diabetic sites often feel some of the same ways in school. Taking insulin is tough. It is tougher when you are a teenager. Some adults know this from experience; we feel the social judgments even in middle years. But for a kid fitting in is often one of the three pillars of success. These pillars are love, direction and control. No adult let alone a 14 year old wants to sacrifice one of these main reasons to go on. I hope we remember that going forward.
Taking insulin is not a plug and chug treatment. When you are a teen, plug and chug is not even an option. I saw that last night. The kids who graduated last night were not plug and chug kids. I believe there is room for even non-standard kids in a standard school. I am glad these kids found it at options charter school.
As readers know I have been thinking of taking my blog off this site. I have decided against it. A piece of news really helped me make this decision. Yesterday I was looking at some sites I might like to mimic. In doing so I ran across this story, on Health line titled the 18 best diabetic blog sites. Here is the link:
This story tells folks that the number 10 best blogging site is TUDiabetes.org. When I was thinking about taking my blog offsite my ambition was to be on this list. I wanted to be one of the top blogging sites. I realized when I read the article that I was already there. I have to admit I likely have nothing to do with TUDiabetes.org being on the list. But darn it did make me think. How long would it take for me to get my own site on this list? I think it would take way too long, way too much effort, and way too many setbacks to make a separate effort worthwhile.
I have decided to stick where I am at maybe another time, but I am good for now.
Like those kids I mentioned above, it is important to be in the right place and not everyone needs to be part of an independent effort.