A local program designed to keep Duval County Public School students on the path to graduation is preparing to celebrate a huge milestone.
One student will be the first person in their family to graduate from high school and go to college — while the other will be the first person to go to college in her family.
Action News Jax's Courtney Cole shows us the life-changing impact of Communities in Schools Jacksonville.
"Sometimes I didn’t go to sleep until 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. and then I have to be right back up at 5:30 a.m. I’d be so tired."
Haynes will be the first in her family to graduate from high school and go to college.
"I’m ready, but I’m not ready. I’m not ready to leave my mom…I’m not ready to leave like most kids,” Ray said.
What Haynes and Ray share, besides a graduation date, is the woman who helped get them there - Ms. Twilla Washington.
“I’m trying not to cry for one, but to see these babies that I’ve had since 2009 when I initially started with Communities in Schools--and just to see them blossom into the women they are now… about to go into the real world with careers and going off to college soon… It’s overwhelming,” Washington said.
“Unfortunately, some of our students are at risk for not graduating. They don’t have that motivation [and that lack of motivation comes from] either negative peer influences, some come from backgrounds with poverty or hunger. It’s just a whole gamut of social problems they’re having to deal with that 30 years ago in high school, we didn’t have to deal with,” Washington said.
For any students that may be reading this, Haynes and Ray want you to pass on what they’ve learned from Washington:
“Giving up is not an option, your best is yet to come.”
For more information about Communities in Schools Jacksonville, or how you can get involved, click here.
Cox Media Group