The last few months of high school are characterized by excitement and fun events, but for some students it is the time that can make or break if they get to walk at graduation. Perseverance, hard work, dedication, and self confidence were all necessary attributes senior Destini Gates embraced and fine tuned during the last few months to overcome the daunting tasks she faced to reach graduation.
Destini entered her senior year needing 14 high school credits to graduate - a daunting task that would crush the spirit of most students. Instead, she dug deep and relied on her trusted support team of teachers, academic interventionist, and graduation coach to guide her through the arduous journey. Destini’s unique process included lessons on accountability, self-advocacy, daily grade checks, and other strategies she learned to embrace to reach her goal of walking at graduation.
There were difficult days where Destini would face the internal struggle involved with being overwhelmed, and a few moments of tears usually followed. But then, she would pick herself up and continue to work hard while chipping away one class at a time. Hours after school were devoted to staying current on course work, completing four unit recovery courses, and an additional two Foothills classes. With Foothills deadlines fast approaching, she ramped up the number of hours at Foothills, staying 5 hours a night for weeks on end. On May 10th, the almost impossible happened: Destini completed her final course at Foothills, causing graduation to go from a possibility to a reality.
Mr. Bradley, Destini’s academic interventionist, shares, “Destini, in short, gives me hope. She continuously restores my faith in students’ ability to look adversity in the face and overcome whatever the world throws at them. Yes, there have been tears and times when she wanted to give up, but I could always count on Destini to walk into my classroom and take the next step toward graduation. A few months ago, graduating looked nearly impossible and ‘always taking a step forward’ became our mantra. Day-by-day, Destini began to realize that graduation could be a reality, and she used that motivation as a springboard to find success both at Winder-Barrow High School and Foothills. I couldn’t be more proud!”
Congratulations Class of 2023 Graduating Senior, Destini Gates! We are incredibly proud of you!
We are proud of our students who are on the “Grad Track.” A Grad Track student has either failed one or more academic classes and/or is behind in credits needed for graduation with their cohort class. Graduation Specialists at all three Barrow County School System (BCSS) high schools support students who meet these qualifications.