Brendan H.


Wanted to Succeed

Couldn't Make

The Grade


School just never really went that well for me. My mom said it was not my fault and that I should just keep trying. I felt like I was trying harder than anyone in any of my classes.  I just never could get good grades.   Its funny, I actually liked going to school and hanging out with my friends and I did want to get good grades.  I just couldn't.

I needed to try harder.

That's what my teachers said. Mom said I needed to pay more attention.  Apparently I did not focus on the right things because I never seemed to turn in the answers that my teachers were looking for.  I didn't feel that different but I guess I missed some of the details.  Sometimes my work was late and I would get graded off.  Or the work I turned in was not the way the teacher wanted it.  I'm not sure why.  Everyone would just say to try harder.

Sometimes my mom would even say the same thing.

I guess she got tired of waiting because in 11th grade she took me to see this lady that asked me lots of questions. Like what did I do for fun and what was my favorite class at school.  She looked at my test and compared my scores to other kids like me.  She told me that I was not dumb, just different.  Then she told me there was a way to make high school work to my advantage.  Now I was paying attention.  Mrs. Lee told me how to be successful at school without trying to change who I am.  She told me I could go to college!

I was never going to get into a college.

The counselor at school hooked me up with a Navy recruiter.  She said that if I enlisted after high school that I could get a college degree for free.  It sounded good at first but I really didn't want to be on a boat or even in the military.  I wanted to go to college.  So Mrs. Lee worked out a plan for me to go to college.  She called it my Success Plan!  It wasn't anything different from regular school but It was easy to understand and it just seemed to work. Every month she would give me three things to do and I did it.  Next thing I know, I'm graduating high school and headed off to a university in another state.

I even got money!

I was a little nervous about going away to school, but Mrs. Lee explained that I needed a fresh start in a program that "spoke to me". She actually says that sort of stuff.  But you know what, it did speak to me! Once that happened, something changed. I felt like I wanted to succeed and then I did. I can't even explain it myself. And the best part was that I got a scholarship. My mom actually cried.

A Real Big Thank You Mrs. Lee . . . You're the best!!!!!!!!


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