On Thursday, May 30, Caitlin Carstens will earn a high school diploma from Hauke Academic Alternative High School.
â€śIn twenty days I will be graduating,â€ť Caitlin responded when asked to tell a little about herself. The excited
senior could not stop smiling while talking about her accomplishment of not only graduating, but also graduating as valedictorian of her class. However, there was a time Caitlin thought she would never receive a high school diploma.
During her junior year of high school in 2009, Caitlin made the decision to drop out of school. She tried to get a job, but no one would hire a high school dropout. According to Caitlin, she hung out with the wrong friends, and she said, â€śnothing was going for me.â€ť At the age of eighteen, Caitlin gave birth to a baby boy, and one year later, she gave birth to her second son. Being a mom not only changed her daily routine, but she said it also, â€śmade me realize how bad of a state I was in.â€ť
â€śMy kids brought me back,â€ť Caitlin said with tears in her eyes.
Not sure exactly how to get back on track, she called one person she knew would listen, Dr. Jo Ann Beken, Hauke principal.
â€śMay I come home?â€ť Caitlin asked Dr. Beken.
Now, a year later, Caitlin is doing great. She currently works for a respite care, enjoys spending time with her sons, and is ranked number one out of fifty-one seniors. After graduation, she plans to attend Lone Star College to pursue her dream to become a deaf education teacher.
â€śHauke gave me my life back,â€ť claims Caitlin. From the front desk receptionist to her principal, she feels that the Hauke staff helped her get to where she is today, twenty days from being a high s chool graduate.