Congratulations Class of 2013
28 students participate in commencement
Street School is honored to present the Class of 2013 – Jeremy Bentley, Jonathan Broad, Imani Bunch, Kristina Carl, Brandy Dixon, Mika Donica, Juan Garcia-Medina, Yaneli Hernandez, Michael Ingram, Ashley Jameson, Katilyn Jones, Brooke Lee, Latisha Long, Genesia McKinney, Jesus Molina, Brittany Ohmart, Mallory Scraper, Elizabeth Shelton, Jessica Smart, Martin Villavicencio, Mitzia Villavicencio, Saxxon Walker, Damion Werner, Torrey White, Raven Whitewater and Steven Wright. Commencement exercises were held at Will Rogers United Methodist Church on May 14th, 2013. More than 300 people were in attendance to celebrate their success!
A total of 26 graduates made application to begin college in the fall. Most of the seniors completed their college entrance exams and were enrolled in Tulsa Community College by the end of April. Over the past five years, over 85% of all graduates continued their education.
Commencement speeches were given by graduating seniors Latisha Long, Michael Ingram and Nelly Hernandez. The graduation ceremony took place at 6:30 p.m. followed by a catered reception sponsored by Crafton Tull. Street School wishes to thank the Tulsa Community Band for donating their services, and the Will Rogers United Methodist church for hosting the graduation ceremonies. Good luck to our graduates!
Saxxon Walker Wins Key Club Scholarship
Saxxon Walker, 2013 Street School graduate, received a $1,000 college scholarship from the Kiwanis Club of Tulsa. Students seeking scholarships completed an application and an interview, and were judged based on leadership ability, participation in school and community activities, Key Club work, need for financial support and evidence of ability to succeed in college. Walker was presented the award at the Kiwanis Club of Tulsa’s Key Club Scholarship Luncheon. He was one of 28 Key Club students in Tulsa to receive a scholarship. Saxxon plans on attending Pikes Peak Community College in Boulder, Colorado in the Fall of 2013. Good luck, Saxxon!
Where are they now?
Street School Alum Joins Street School
John Marlow, Street School class of 81` and 82` states, “I attribute all my academic success to Street School. I was a two-time dropout with no place to go. Street School made a place for me to learn and prepare for a future I wasn’t sure would ever come.”
Marlow is one of thousands of former Street School students who have gone on to enjoy success in life, following intense problems during the teen years. “Had Street School not been there I don’t know where I’d be today. They prepared me for the GED which made attending Tulsa Junior College possible. Sure, I had lots of teachers in college that had an impact. But, had I not attended Street School, college would not have been an option.”
Marlow, earned his PhD in Education and is a former professor of communication. This past July he joined Street School as the Intake Counselor, a dream he’s had for 9 years.
Anna Hudson with her painting, “Earth’s Iris”
Anna Hudson, class of 2005, graduated from Tulsa Community College (TCC) on May 6, 2011 with an Associates degree in secondary education. She also won a top Talentship Award at the TCC spring art show for her piece ‘Earth’s Iris’ in April. Congratulations Anna!
Anna began taking classes at TCC after leaving Street School. After some personal challenges, her focus became work and only attended TCC sporadically. She worked at Wal-Mart, Dollar General and Petco. Feeling like she was in dead-end jobs, Anna came to realize that the she needed more, so she returned to TCC. “If it wasn’t for Street School, I wouldn’t have been able to graduate from TCC,” said Anna who received a Street School post-secondary education scholarship every semester.
Julie Niemi in Prauge
Julie Niemi chose to enroll in Street School in the winter 2006. “I didn’t have any self-respect or self-dignity. I didn’t understand where I’d be a month, a week, or even 24 hours later, I just knew I needed to get my life back together and Street School opened the door to that opportunity,” said Julie. Although her former high school told her she would not graduate, she not only graduated on time, but with a clear vision of her future. With the assistance of Street School mentors, she was able to harness the financial means necessary to attend a junior college and then move on to a four-year university.
Since leaving high school Spring 2006, Julie has had many successes because of the support from Street School. She had the opportunity to work for President Barack Obama, attend her dream university at Columbia College in Chicago for a degree in Visual Arts Management, and even studied abroad in Prague. These experiences have helped her contextualize the different opportunities available in a world that once seemed so overwhelming and unattainable before walking through the doors of Street School five years ago.
From left to right are: Kim Shannon, Sutton Avian Research Center;
Leah Paquette; Carrie Wilson, F&M Bank & Trust Company.
Leah Paquette Wins Sutton Scholarship
Leah Paquette won a $250 scholarship for her entry in the Second Annual Sutton Awards. Financial awards were given to talented high school students who demonstrated the ability to communicate a current conservation topic, such as water, air or soil quality or wildlife conservation, in an artistic, dramatic or compelling way. The Sutton Awards consisted of $14,000 in U.S. Saving Bonds awarded to students as scholarships.
Student’s personal stories illustrate the school’s success
“Carrie” came to Street School at the age of 15, after living on the streets for a year. She was this tiny, scared young girl who had lived a frightening life. Her parents had abandoned her and she was scared to come to school. Carrie told us this, “My friend said I should come here. I think I want to be in school, but I haven’t gone anywhere in a long time. I hate school.” Carrie needed a place to live and the staff found a home for her. Although it took her a long time, she began to feel more secure and told the staff, “For the first time I feel like I have a family, like I belong somewhere. I think I can make something of myself.” Carrie gained enough confidence to interview with Tulsa Technology Center, and was subsequently enrolled in the medical technology program. She is now working in the medical field and plans to continue her education. Carrie said this, “I am forever thankful to Street School for giving me the support, love, and encouragement I needed.”
“Dan’s” mother enrolled him in Street School when he was 15. After enrolling his mother moved out, leaving Dan by himself. Dan continued to attend school as it seemed to be his life-line. “Without the help I got from the people at Street School, I would have felt lost.” Dan hung in and graduated from the program. After graduation he enlisted in the Armed Services and participated in Desert Storm. He sent a postcard from the Middle East to Street School to let everyone know how he was doing. When Dan was able to come home on leave, he made Street School his very first stop. He proudly wore his uniform and said, “I am proud to serve my country and I am proud to be a Street School graduate.”
“I was a mess when I came to Street School. I was strung out every day, doing whatever I needed to get drugs. I felt that nobody cared about me. I didn’t have anybody in my corner. I never thought I’d be where I am today – in college, married and having a good life, a normal life – one I never had before. I hate to think what would have happened to me if it hadn’t been for Street School and the people there who looked out for me. Street School turned my life around.”
“When I went to Street School I realized that I had self worth and was worth something. Educationally, I learned quite a bit. I learned about myself and the type of person I need to be. They taught me by example. I learned more at Street School than any other place in my life.”
“What I like most about Street School is that there is a lot of help if needed. It is also a quick way to earn credits toward graduation. I came to Street School because I wasn’t doing well in other schools. I had F’s in all classes. I knew I could do the work but I just wasn’t motivated. Now, its different. Thanks to Street School, I have been more motivated and I have opened up more. After I graduate I plan on taking classes at TCC and then attending a university. I recommend Street School to other kids because if they think graduating is hopeless, come to Street School. It has probably been the best decision I have ever made.”
“What I like most about Street School is the one on one help you get from the teachers, the smaller classes and more class time. I came to Street School because I was thinking about dropping out. I did not want to go to school anymore so I thought I would give Street School a try. Now I have passing grades and I love it here! I plan to graduate, go to college and move out on my own. I would recommend this school to anybody that is having problems in school and wants to get more help and people will not judge you for who you are.”
“Street School has done a lot for me. I get the one on one help I’ve been needing. There are smaller classes and fewer students so I can concentrate. We have our own counselors instead of a whole grade sharing one. And we do a lot of hands on things that are fun.
I came to Street School because I skipped almost everyday, and missed too much and failed 9th grade. I never did my work I just wanted to have fun.
Street School has helped me from getting D’s and F’s to A’s and B’s. It has changed me from not doing any work to doing pretty good and learning a lot. I’ve learned more here than my middle school and high school years.”
When I graduate from here, I want to go to OSU in Stillwater for College. I want to go for a psychology degree and get my doctorate. I recommend Street School to other teens because they can get the one on one help they need, and it’s actually fun. And they get us ready for college. Thank you for supporting my school. It’s done a lot for me and other people. I appreciate it. “
“I like Street School because it has a fun, safe and friendly atmosphere. The work is easy to understand and if you need help the teachers are always there. The counselors are like your best friends and help you to understand the work it takes to graduate. They also help you to set goals and accomplish them.
I came to Street School because I need help with school work and I needed to feel safe. At my old school I was in fear on a daily basis which is why I missed so much school. I didn’t understand the work they gave me and since there were so many kids I never got the help I needed.
Street School has helped me to get the credits I need to graduate and the self confidence to continue with my goals no matter how big. It has changed my life from bad to good. I don’t run away or cut myself anymore. I now believe that I can do what I set my mind to.
After Street School I plan to go to college at TCC where I will study the basics then transfer to a university where I will study in science or photography. Soon after, I will work as a lab technician working on diagnosis and treatment for disease or illness or as a photographer wherever needed.
I recommend Street School to other teens because I believe that they can make it if they have others believing in them and they believe in themselves. Street School will show them that there is an alternative to dropping out. That they can make it if they set their mind to it and have the drive it takes to succeed.
Your support means a lot to all of us at Street School. If we can get the help we need then we can make sure that other teens have a chance at life and at success. Thank you for your support.“
“The reason I chose to come to Street School was because I had a bad addiction to powdered substances. I hated a lot of the people at my old school, and I had major issues with the way the teachers tried to handle the large classes. I really enjoy Street School, because there is a lot more one on one with the teachers and they take the time to get to know who you are. There is a lot less people, and they all treat you like family.
After being here, I have realized what a lot of my problems are and who I really am. The students and faculty here have helped me stay away from my powder addictions and my friends all support my choices. I can now think a lot more clearly on issues and have no problem with being slightly nervous or forget what I was discussing when talking to a large group.
Once I graduate I plan on going to college to study diseases and train to be a massage therapist, along with some other side jobs. Before I came here, I only wanted to do some jobs that most would call crazy.
I recommend this school to almost anyone that has problems with public schools, because this is more of a learning environment and the outdoors is our classroom. Everyone tries to get to know you rather than just seeing you as another body occupying a seat. It’s a good school for people that have issues with staying in school due to drugs, because it helps you realize how much easier it is to function in life without them.
Thank you for taking the time to read my opinion as your support is needed to help me and others that have similar problems to stay in school and succeed in life rather than being a screwed up drop-out going no where.“