By Bill Sheets Herald Writer
This week’s Super Kid has beaten some terrific odds, all on her own, to be finally graduating from high school and looking forward to the challenges of going to college.
She was raised by her grandparents for a time, lived in several foster and group homes, all the while trying to look out for her younger brother.
She says she was labeled “a runner” and was flunking in school when she started at Scriber Lake and was able to turn herself around.
Q: Why do you think you were nominated to be a Super Kid?
A: I think it’s my background, where I come from, what I’ve been through, and seeing how much I’ve succeeded.
Q: What turned things around?
A: I started going to school here (at Scriber Lake), and I met my friend Kalaina Billing through a guy I was dating. I ended up staying with her. I’ve been living at their house for almost two years.
She and her mom, Kirsti, adopted me last August. I got my name changed, I got a new birth certificate, a new Social Security card, everything, a fresh new start.
I was out of school for a while when I was on the run. I missed a lot of school, so I don’t know how I’m graduating on time.
I’ve worked with two teachers really closely, Julie Murphy and Debbie Walters. They’ve both helped me a lot, they know my background, where I’ve come from and what I’ve been through.
They’re both just so amazed by how much improvement I’ve made and how much I’m driven to get stuff done and have a future.
Q: What’s your GPA?
A: I have no idea, honestly. I probably have about a C average — before it was definitely D’s and F’s. Recently I’ve been getting almost all straight A’s.
Q: What was better about the situation with your new family?
A: I have trust issues with guys and so I guess just coming into a house with two females is a little bit more comfortable for me. I knew Kalaina personally, she knew a lot about me. We started talking, we clicked, and we just became really good friends.
Q: What are your favorite subjects?
A: I like history and art, too. I like to sketch.
Q: Do you have any college plans?
A: I went to EvCC for the cosmetology Running Start program, and I’m looking into a bunch of different things, like Web designing, or fashion maybe — something artistic because I’m really artistic.
I’m probably going to take a little time off, get a part-time job, save up for expenses. Because I don’t have parents who can pay my way through college, I’ve got to do it on my own.
I had a scholarship for cosmetology, but that money’s gone so I’m starting over on scholarships; I just got another scholarship today for $500.
The teachers here are really helpful. The librarian, Lorraine Dietel, offered $100 out of her own pocket to help me get through school and I thought that was so nice. I’m thinking about going back to community college and starting with history, English, basic courses.
I like how I can go from the way things were to being so successful now in my high school career and everything. I hate that some kids use their childhood or their past as an excuse for everything.
My little brother’s like that. He’s into all sorts of trouble, and he uses it as an excuse, like, “I can’t do this because of that.”
I say, “I grew up in the same childhood as you did, and I’m doing all right.”
Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.