When she thinks about her childhood, there are no fond memories for Angelina. Her home environment was unstable, sometimes there was no food in the house or electricity. Her family was homeless for two months, living in motels, and the stress on the family emerged in yelling and violence. As a shy child, she recalls being scared to go to school.


She was in foster care throughout her teens, going in and out of various homes and separated from her siblings. And then her aunt told her about Learn4Life’s Marconi Learning Academy.


“Coming to this school was like a safe place for me. It blocked out all the pain that I was feeling,” she explained. “The environment is very positive, and the teachers are so supportive. It is just a fun environment to be in.”


Learn4Life’s flexible schedule was ideal for her situation. She was able to take care of her little brother and get to her counseling appointments. The small group instruction fit Angelina’s learning style and regular one-on-one tutoring helped her stay on track to graduate.


At age 13 she discovered gymnastics and is still involved in the sport. “I love gymnastics because it teaches me to keep trying no matter how many times I fall down. I’ve learned discipline and I really enjoy the life lessons that it has showed me,” she said. “I am proud of being able to stay strong through the hard times and picking myself up over and over. To me that is being successful.”


Angelina’s teachers and counselor have helped her become more independent and explore her options for independent living while she continues her education. They helped her create a resume, look for employment and apply for college financial aid. She’s currently living with her sister and happy to be in a positive and uplifting family environment. Her goal is to be an automotive engineer, so she is planning to go to community college and then transfer to a four-year university.


Her advice to other students with similar challenges: “Keep a positive attitude, negative situations can be used as motivation to create positive changes in your life.”


Written By:
Ann Abajian
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