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Student spotlight: Diego

  • Madison Schiefelbein
  • January 12, 2021

Diego had dreams of becoming a photographer. But in his sophomore year in high school, he was forced to leave school so that he could work to support his mother and younger brother.

“My mom always wanted me to finish high school, so it was something I wanted to look after,” he said. “After a long time working, I had to start looking for options to finish my high school.”

When he learned that his school district had launched an online program for students like him, he was elated.

“It was really easy and straightforward,” he said. “It worked around my work schedule. It was good for me.”

But Diego, whose first language is Spanish and who continued to work full-time while taking classes, said it was still a lot of work to stay on track to earn his diploma.

“There was a time when I felt very discouraged and I thought I would not be able to finish,” he said.

But with the support of his teachers, academic coach, and local advocate, Diego was able to overcome the obstacles and earn his diploma.

“It felt like a huge relief,” he said. “It was awesome. I couldn’t believe that I had finally done it after a long time.”

But he’s not done. Now that he has earned his high school diploma, Diego wants to attend college to study photography.

Graduation Alliance partners with school districts, workforce agencies and various other organizations to help create alternative paths for individuals who need flexibility and support to earn a diploma. We understand each student needs an individual pathway to graduation and we are here to help. Click here for more information.