Bridgette Holmes, San Antonio High grad

At 15 I dropped out of high school, making the decision that I didn’t need school and it was just a waste of my time. Now I would have much more free time to get myself into trouble.

I started using drugs regularly as a result of things that had happened in my childhood, and missed about eight months of what should have been my sophomore year of high school. Luckily, I survived and came out of it a stronger individual. It also opened my eyes to the world of poverty. I saw things and did things I would like to forget. But that just made me a part of who I am today: a sober individual, still hanging around crank smokers, still saying no to the dope pipe.

It’s not easy; I won’t lie. Sometimes carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders leads me to want to relapse. But I have to remember back to when I used, and all the time I wasted, and what the drugs did to me, to push on with my new life.

I bounced around to a couple of different schools before dropping out. First it was Petaluma Junior High, then Crossroads, then an online school.

Then it was no school. I was free to sleep in and do what I wanted. I only lived with my mom and she couldn’t tell me what to do even when she tried her hardest.

Eventually, I enrolled in another school based upon your recovery from using drugs. That didn’t stop me, though. I went there after being up all night, high as a kite. I just honestly didn’t care. And I felt like they didn’t either, which obviously didn’t help me. That summer I completed their summer school program and turned 16, which I had been waiting for because I wanted to enroll in San Antonio High School.

That was three years ago. I turn 19 this summer and on March 1 I graduated high school. I owe this all to the school that finally cared enough to push me to graduate.

When I started at San Antonio, I was still using. I always got away with it at my other schools, but at this one I couldn’t. It made me feel guilty because my teachers actually cared. They knew something was wrong and were always asking where I was and what was going on. It was almost like I had eight more parents on the daily!

But it was what I needed, and now the thought of me actually graduating brings tears to my eyes. I spent a lot of time at San Antonio, but I know I can go back and visit because that’s how it works in the San Antonio Family.