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Student Stories

A Near-Death Experience Puts Teen on the Path to Become a High School Graduate

July 3rd, 2024
Grad Solutions Student receiving his diploma at his graduation ceremony

Isaac grew up in an urban Phoenix neighborhood where every night, his sleep was overshadowed by the relentless roar of passing trains and the piercing sirens. Among the crimes that surrounded his home, Isaac discloses that his childhood was far from perfect. When he was in sixth grade, divorce fractured his family and sent him and his siblings into a cycle of uncertainty. Many of those early years were marked by instability and constant flux as he bounced between relatives to find temporary solace with his father.  

Daily Demands and a Life Changing Experience

Forced to confront the harsh realities of adulthood at a young age, Isaac decided to drop out of school to support himself and his family. At 17 years, he struggled with exhaustion while working long hours at a local pizzeria juggling the demands of wrestling and online coursework. Yet, despite his challenges, Isaac persevered, determined to carve out a better future for himself.  

At 19, tragedy struck in the form of a devastating car accident. He remembers laying in the street, looking at the bottom of a gutter realizing that he never even got to say “goodbye” to anyone. For several minutes, Isaac’s body teetered on the precipice of life and death before he was pronounced dead for ten harrowing minutes. Miraculously, he emerged from the brink of death, defying the odds. “It just wasn’t my time,” says Isaac.  

Grad Solutions Graduate celebrating with his family after his ceremony

The incident was life changing. The experience he had during the accident made him reevaluate his priorities. One of those priorities was finishing high school. That was when Isaac’s path intersected with Grad Solutions. He and his brother learned about the program after his brother had gotten his GED.  

Finding Support and Overcoming Struggles

Overcoming his initial reluctance, the unwavering support and encouragement of the Grad Solutions team served as a lifeline. They continually stayed in touch with him, even when he wasn’t replying or making progress. “They were like, ‘Hey, we’re still here, even if you don’t’ want to’,” he says. Their belief in him reignited his determination to succeed and instilled a sense that it was possible to finish. It wasn’t easy but each day, he found himself inching closer to his goal. 

Now, as Isaac proudly proclaims himself a high school graduate, the weight of his past struggles has been lifted. In its place, a sense of pride and accomplishment has blossomed. For Isaac, success is not just about obtaining a diploma—it’s about overcoming yourself, “at the end of the day, it’s you against you,” he says. So much of our ability to progress is within our own mindset and willpower.

Grad Solutions Graduate speaking at his ceremony   

As he looks towards the horizon, Isaac’s journey serves as a testament to the indomitable human spirit—a reminder that, no matter how daunting the odds may seem, redemption is always within reach for those who dare to dream and persevere. With his diploma, Isaac Gonzalez stands ready to embrace the next chapter of his extraordinary journey with courage, resilience, and unwavering determination. 

If you would like to know more about the Grad Solutions High School Diploma Program, feel free to call us at 480-689-5999contact us, or enroll online!

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