I Wasn't Prepared

High School Success | 12/16/2018

Brandon Lewis
College Student

My path to college wasn’t easy. I got expelled from high school and spent my junior and part of my senior year at an alternative school.

When I finally graduated, I had no idea what I wanted to do. So, I took out a federal loan and enrolled in a private two-year college, where I had to take remedial English and math classes just to catch up. Then I withdrew.

I took a semester off and tried again. I enrolled in a public community college where I still had to take remedial courses, but there were resources available to help me get through them and people encouraging me along the way. That support system helped me graduate in three years with my associate’s degree. Now I’m working toward my bachelor’s degree.

It didn’t have to be like this for me. If I’d had a College and Career Coordinator at my high school, and better access to tools and resources to avoid remediation, I could’ve graduated prepared to attend a four-year college or enter the workforce on day one.

Too many Illinois students have stories like mine. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can write better stories for new generations of Illinois students. Tell your leaders in Springfield to get moving with thoughtful solutions to help high school students succeed.

My path to college wasn’t easy, but I’m making the most of my opportunity now. I know that students like me across Illinois can succeed in the classroom and in their careers if we better prepare them for the future. Together, we can make sure students are ready for college and career.

A thriving Illinois means a thriving workforce. Let’s make it happen, together.

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