When I first joined Ocean Academy, I didn’t think much of it. I simply thought “Oh, it’s just another behavioral school trying to tell me what to do.” I never did what I was told, and I always thought that I was right; thinking that I could do whatever I wanted and get away with it. I was wrong. I argued, provoked, and attempted to fight with other students. A lot of the students weren’t having it, but I continued anyway for the purpose of amusement which was completely unnecessary. I had always lied, and I always disrespected the One on One Paraprofessional I had, Mrs. Crosta. Mrs. Newman was my counselor at Ocean Academy.
I started to attend Bayside, where I learned coping skills and other mechanisms to help myself learn how to calm me down. My counselor was Michelle and her nickname was Minnie. I had been at Bayside for two years, overstaying my limit as usual. I didn’t want to put up with people anymore. I really just wanted to do my own thing and be my own kind of person.
The third year, we had gotten a new principal. I had calmed a little bit, and matured a tad but it still wasn’t enough to put me where I am now.After I had earned myself a little recognition for telling the truth, I had people believing me when I told them things, which felt good. One day, in the cafeteria I got mad at a teacher and I threw a chair at the wall out of anger. As a result I was suspended for ten days and had to attend a meeting to discuss whether I would be able to come back to Ocean Academy, as well as a possible charge for destruction of school property. I was 16 years old at the time, and I didn’t really care until I realized how upset my parents were. Nobody really thought I could change. I decided right then and there that I didn’t want to spend my life in jail, and I wanted to help myself using the great support system at Ocean Academy.
Mr. Corbett gave me a chance to stay, and I was happy that he did. From there on out, I focused on bettering myself. I wasn’t allowed to use my bank account at Ocean Academy for the entire year as a discipline and that frustrated me, but it also taught me responsibility and that there are consequences for negative actions. I realized that the more mature I got, the more people looked up to me and the happier I became. I continued to do better. Mrs. Crosta and all the staff were very proud of me.
My fourth year at Ocean Academy, I graduated High School and I thought that I had lost my hopes and dreams of ever returning back to district. I was a little bit upset that I had to return to OA because I didn’t have a job. However instead of complaining, I actually went out and did something about it. I now working, and I started at OCVTS with hopes of returning to district. Boy did I luck out! I am returning to district with a healthy mindset, with a job, and with people that respect me and even want me to visit. My next goal is to get my Driver’s License, and I will continue setting up goals and making baby steps to get to that goal. Nothing is achieved overnight. Everything takes time.
A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO MRS. CROSTA, MRS. COLE, MRS. NEWMAN, DR. SENESE, AND MR. CORBETT FOR THE CHANCE!