Sunday, June 8, 2008

Willing To Change

Willing To Change
K.C. Goines
Crocket High School

I didn’t have it good growing up. I mean, I’m one of seven kids – with only one person working
in the house. And I didn’t have everything good like others did. Six of the seven of my brothers
and sisters dropped out or didn’t finish school. So, I take the subject of high school dropout rates to
heart. I’m willing to change, to break that trend and to be the first out of my family to go to college.
Because I just can’t sit there and let my life drift away like that.
I have a brother who recently dropped out of school. I just can’t be like one of my brothers and
sisters who dropped out, because there’s nothing out here for you in the street. All the street’s going
to do is chew you up and spit you right back out.

Not Another Statistic

Not Another Statistic
DeShawn Parks

I was born and raised in Detroit. I had a pretty good childhood. Growing up, I was always the quiet
kid in school who never got in trouble. I always kept my grades up. My teacher used to always tell
me how intelligent I was, and I was on the honor roll. I was the kid who always smiled, was never sad,
and helped teachers and classmates around school. My life before middle school was perfect. I got
rewards for being a good student. I took part in many school activities, enjoyed going on school field
trips and was one of the principal’s favorite students. Things changed when I got to middle school.
I lost two close relatives to gun violence. That had a heavy impact on me. After that I got into a
number of fights and got expelled. I had some anger management problems.
I transferred to a charter school in Warren. There I found myself having to deal with problems
associated with drugs and safety. I had two fights and was expelled. Then I transferred to a Detroit
public school where I encountered gangs and, once again, safety issues. Anger was still a problem for
me. I had two fights in that school also, and was expelled from there as well.
There was a time where I felt like giving up on school. But I decided to continue because I thought of
my future and my life, I don’t want to be another statistic, another number added to the dropout rates.