Jazmine found that anxiety was a weight she carried into school every day. After a while the weight became heavier. Ultimately, she found it easier to breath without the pressure of traditional high school. Jazmine decided to contact Career Pathways when she heard that she could not attend college without her high school equivalency degree. She refused to give up.

"The biggest thing I learned from coming to Career Pathways was not to stop. When I first started at Career Pathways I was afraid to go to the board to solve problems, but by the end I was volunteering to do it." She and her classmates would text each other with homework questions and organize study groups at the Brooklyn library. The group collectively proposed to their instructor Lori, a field trip. "When we asked to take a trip to one of the museums I realized that if you have an idea and voice your opinion a lot can happen." She reflected on the final test day about how she and all her classmates prayed together before they took the test. She felt at peace when she was answering the questions and writing the essay. "Now all I can think about are the ones I know I got wrong."

Jazmine says her mom Paulette is her biggest supporter. "My mom made me feel like I could do it, like no matter what she'd have my back." Jasmine said she prefers staying home and reading Maya Angelou or writing poetry over going out, but she likes going to Coney Island to visit her father.

Jazmine also never mentioned to me that she had achieved a perfect attendance at Career Pathways, an award rare even among the most diligent of students. The Career Pathways Program Director, Pavel, informed me of her accomplishment as an example of why Jazmine was an extraordinary student.

When I asked her what advice she has for new students starting in the program she said: "Stay focused, try to wake up every morning with your goals in mind, Keep your absences to a minimum, stay positive and keep people around you who remind you that you are good enough, Don't doubt yourself because you are good enough…After I get my test scores I can start deciding what to do next. I want to go to college; I'd like to get my master's degree. I told Pavel I am going to drive up to the center in my own car and say hi to him and Miss Lori one day."

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