Oct 20 at 4:21 PM
For about a year and a half, everything was fine. Jacy was attending school and doing well in her classes. She was happy and goal-oriented. Then I fell into a really bad depression, she said, and I wasnt able to focus. Roughly 20 percent of American teens will suffer from depression at some point before adulthood. Research shows that depression is a significant driver of dropout rates. So Jacy wasnt alone even though it often felt that way. But the Clover Park School District wasnt willing to give up on her. And when the districts alternative school setting didnt work out, school leaders were still determined to help her get to graduation day. Enrolling in the districts Graduation Alliance program didnt change the factors in Jacy's life that were contributing to her inability to focus on school. Those challenges continued. I still struggled, she said. I was still trying to work while going to school, and there were a lot of other bumps in the road. My father had a heart attack and I was dealing with that. All of these things were making life very difficult. But the combination of flexibility and support the program offered gave Jacy what she needed to overcome those obstacles. For me, the biggest support was my local advocate, Laurie, Jacy said. She was always checking in on my and there for me. She was just someone who I knew I could trust and confide in. This week, following a year of hard work, Jacy reached her graduation goal. When she walks across the stage in a graduation ceremony this winter, shes excited to have her father there looking back up at her. Hes doing really good, she said. It was really rocky and scary for a while, but hes a lot better now. And having him there is going to be amazing. My parents have always really pushed me to fight through my challenges and finish school, and its going to be really meaningful to have them there.