School is hard work but important. You have to study hard to graduate so you can get a good job to support yourself in the future—and if you want to go to college, you have to do even better.
Yet for many teenagers, home life gets in the way of academics, and in some cases balancing the two can be nigh impossible! Just ask Vania Torres of Putnam High School in Milwaukie, Oregon.
Part way through high school, Vania’s home life became stressful and her grades started to suffer.
In the spring of her junior year, one of Vania’s relatives who lived at her house struggled through an ugly divorce and custody battle.
Weeks upon weeks of arguments ensued, and the Torreses became worried that the baby from that marriage would forever disappear from their lives. It was a stressful time, to say the least, and Vania’s grades began to plummet.
“The mood in the house was really sad,” Vania told The Oregonian.
School faculty offered Vania support, and it did help, but it wasn’t enough for her to pass the second semester of algebra.
As she approached graduation time, Vania’s algebra fail was going to cost her her diploma.
In the final semester of Vania’s senior year, Principal Kathleen Walsh called Vania into the office. Both assistant principals and three counselors were there too. Whatever they had to say, it was going to be big!
They informed Vania that she was at high risk of not graduating. Failing algebra set her back and, if she failed to pass again, she wouldn’t receive a diploma.
Torres was in dire straights. She had a 4 percent grade at the time which she needed to raise up to at least 60 percent in order to pass, yet she didn’t feel hopeless.
The principal, her assistants, and the counselors all believed in her: They were willing to do whatever it took to help Vania graduate.
“I knew that they wanted me to graduate and I had their support,” Vania told The Oregonian. “It felt amazing.”