Success Story: Chris

By United Way of King County, on October 9, 2015 | In Helping Students Graduate, Success Stories

At age 20, Chris had a decision: use his jail time in a constructive way, or not.

He had always liked learning. Even when he dropped out of high school. Even when his mom kicked him out. Even when he was arrested for second-degree robbery.

He used his 5 months in jail as 5 months of study time. A hard-earned study hall—but he was ready to make it into an open doorway.

“I decided to apply myself to getting my GED,” Chris said. “I spent hours every day going through GED prep books. I had forgotten how confident learning could make me feel.”

When he’d completed his sentence, he had only his clothes in a plastic bag. He didn’t want to be homeless. He went to Auburn Youth Resources and got help finding a place to live. They also connected him with Seattle Education Access for help finishing his GED prep. Both are United Way’s partners in our Reconnecting Youth program.

“After about a month, I took the GED test and passed easily. That felt so good.”

Chris is now working toward his associate degree in IT network management at Green River College. He’s got a steady job. And he feels like he’s turned a corner toward making a stable life for himself.
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