Brittany W. - Success Story

(Connect to College was known as "Gateway to College" when Brittany earned her diploma.)

Brittany GraduatingI graduated from Pendleton High School (through the Gateway to College program) on May 12, 2009. There were times when I wasn't sure I'd make it, but all the hard work paid off - I walked across that stage with a real sense of pride. (My family was pretty excited, too!)

I dropped out of high school when I was in the 10th grade. Traditional high school just wasn't for me, and I got involved with the wrong crowd. I was the first and only one in our family to drop out of high school. I felt like a huge failure.

When I found Gateway, it drastically changed my life. From my first semester, I loved it and school. I was super motivated from day one because I wasn't treated like a kid. The instructors didn't hold my hand, and I realized that I was smarter than I thought I was. I really fit in here and there was no teen peer pressure. (And, of course, I was also motivated to prove to my family and to myself that I could be successful.)

The teachers at Tri-County really have a heart -- they care about students. The Gateway staff and my teachers pushed me and made me see that I can do it. They are like a second family to me.

I'm a different person now. I still struggle with personal issues like lots of people, but I push through and stay focused. I know now that I would be nowhere without an education. I didn't know that when I dropped out. I actually love school - I never thought I would say that! My plan for the future is to continue studying at Tri-County and earn my associate in Arts degree. Then I want to transfer to Clemson University and earn a bachelor's and a master's degree in education. When I get all that finished, I want to come back to Tri-County and teach for Gateway!


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