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We've All Hung In There

By Diana Bell, parent, Denver, Colorado

My son just turned 17 years old and he will be starting Colorado School of Mines this fall. But we have struggled with him and school. When he was 13 years old, we thought he would never have a GPA strong enough to be admitted to any college in the country. We knew he was bright, but what to do was the question. After he failed eighth grade, we moved him out of school and enrolled him in the community college where he took college-level classes that he tested into. His first and second semesters were great. We moved him to a four-year college, but he was dropped after his first semester because he didn't have a high school diploma.

He has had struggles and failures and successes, but we've all hung in there through it all. He recently finished a semester at Colorado University at Boulder and we were able to get him high school credit for his college classes. He currently has a job as a junior admin at a company at the Denver Tech Center. He really enjoys the money he is making, but fortunately he understands that college is his priority—he moves on to campus in a few weeks at Colorado School of Mines, leaving his job behind.

As much of a struggle as it has been, he has learned in the midst of it all—even in the classes he failed—and he has matured in so many ways. For him, it took a nontraditional path to make it through school. Now, he is looking forward to making his own choices with classes and planning his life. It's been a very hard road and costly, but we just couldn't let him down.