New high school graduate Debby Rodrequez credits her teachers at Poudre Community Academy and her family for helping her to be successful and teaching her the value of education.
“I’m so happy that I got to graduate. The teachers really helped me. Whenever I had a problem come up, they would give me the time I needed,” she said. “Everyone is nice here. It’s like a family.”
Rodrequez began attending PCA, an alternative high school in Poudre School District, two years ago. Previously she was enrolled in a more traditional public high school, where she admits she wasn’t motivated to attend school and teachers were not supportive.
“I wouldn’t go to school and then when I did come back, the teachers would give me a hard time about it,” she said. “I was also with the wrong crowd. They were always telling me to ditch school.”
Rodrequez says PCA’s small-school atmosphere and closed campus policy helped her to succeed. “Once you get to school, you have to stay there. That helped a lot,” she said. “It was better that I had to stay at school.”
Rodrequez also enjoyed PCA’s focus on community service. This school year, she spent every Wednesday with classmates serving lunch at the Northern Catholic Charities homeless shelter.
“It just makes me happy to give back to people,” she said. “It’s something good in my life and makes me feel better about myself.”
Now Rodrequez, who is the second high school graduate in her family, is proud to have a diploma and thanks her family for their support.
“My family was always pushing me to graduate. My uncle was the first to graduate in my family and he was my role model,” said Rodrequez, who now knows the importance of a high school diploma. “You need an education to get a good paying job. If you don’t have your diploma or GED, people may think you can’t accomplish anything or finish a task.”
Rodrequez hopes to get a job at Colorado State University and eventually attend Front Range Community College or CSU. Her long-term goal is to become a massage therapist.