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Student Stories

Turning Pain into Purpose: How One Student Overcame Bullying to Become a Role Model

February 29th, 2024
Graduate speaks to her friends and family during graduation ceremony

Kaley Wick, a resident of Mesa, Arizona, shares her challenging journey through school, marked by frequent relocations and bullying experiences.

Unexpected Path

Early childhood was generally normal for Kaley. However, as she grew older, things began to change. Just before turning 13, Kaley was removed from her mother’s care due to issues related to drug abuse and neglect. After moving in with her father, struggles followed her as she continued to face bullying and had to adjust once again. 

These experiences took a toll on her well-being and when she was eighteen, Kaley discovered she was expecting her first child.

Graduate hugging her son after graduation

Despite the added responsibility of parenthood, Kaley soon found renewed motivation to finish school. Through the responsibility of motherhood, now to two children, she knew she wanted to be a role model for her children. This desire drove her to enroll in an online high school and persevere through her studies.

Becoming a Role Model

Kaley reflects on the importance of setting a positive example for her children, acknowledging her own experiences of not having the best role model growing up. With the support of her children, boyfriend, and father, Kaley feels inspired to be the best version of herself. This inspiration pushed her through some of the more challenging days of school when things might have been a struggle. Instead of giving up, she finished the graduation requirements through the Grad Solutions program. On July 28, 2023, she walked the graduation stage with her two children and family there to watch.

Graduate poses for photo after graduation with her daughter

Graduating from high school has been a significant achievement and boosted her confidence, allowing her to see her strength and resilience more clearly.

Today, Kaley proudly declares herself a high school graduate, excited to serve as a positive role model for her children and a new life direction.

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