Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Second Chances

Today I got to see first hand that second chances can pay off. After a morning filled with our annual Awards Assembly, I was ready to get back to my room. This time of the year, my room becomes a senior hang out because they are done with classes and are waiting to go to their internships. 

I noticed one of the seniors I hadn't seen in a while. She was one of the rare students who comes to our school as a transfer sophomore. I had interviewed her for admission. She had attempted to attend our school as a freshman but wasn't accepted.  Instead of giving up, she worked diligently at her home high school and reapplied. I was impressed with her determination. Her grades and test scores were not stellar and I was concerned she might struggle under the pressure of the rigorous academics.  Nevertheless, I thought she deserved a second chance. She's done fine. Not brilliant, but she made the top quartile of her class. 

I asked her where she was planning on going to college. She said she wasn't sure (that's a red flag this late in the year), but thought she'd wind up at Our Lady of the Lake in San Antonio. They had offered her a generous financial aid package but she still wasn't sure. I had to ask.  "What's holding you back? What are your other choices?" Her answer - "Columbia, but I am scared."  I thought to myself certainly she means Columbia College not the university in New York.

Careful not to offend her, I asked, "the one in New York?"  Without a trace of agitation she responded, "yes, Mr. G." As our conversation progressed, I learned she had done very well on the SAT. After all she had accomplished since arriving at our school she was still scared. She was afraid she wasn't up to the task.  We talked through the concerns. She's going to Columbia. This girl who had not even been admitted to our school on her first try, got a second chance and made the most of it.

No comments: