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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators

Challenges can help you

Expelled student grows through the experience

By Joshua Morales, Desert Valley High School | May | June 2021
Everyone is faced with challenges, and these challenges uniquely shape each individual. A challenge that I’ve encountered recently is one that has been building up for a while. I’ve had a troublesome relationship with teachers and school in general from a young age. I constantly got into trouble and was never very fond of school. This issue climaxed during my sophomore year, which was two years ago. I was expelled from my school and, to this day, am still facing the repercussions. It’s been difficult, but I believe this journey was necessary for my growth and self-development.
When I was expelled, I had to switch to a community school. I was required to stay at this school for one year before I could transfer back. I also had to do community service. Over time, I got certificates for things such as good grades and perfect attendance, which motivated me to continue improving my situation. I received fewer credits than I would’ve gotten at my previous school, meaning that I would need to work harder once I transferred back to make up for the lost time. The teachers there made being stuck in one classroom more tolerable. They showed me respect and clearly cared about my grades and my attendance. They pushed me to do better, and that really helped.
I was positively affected by this situation. Being in the same classroom each day, rather than the busy setting I was previously accustomed to, gave me more time to focus on myself. I began really analyzing how I wanted my future to be and how I could make it happen. I now know that I would like to join the military once I graduate. I’d like to become a Navy aviation rescue swimmer. It’s a demanding job, but I feel that I could really make an impact in this career and I look forward to the opportunity to save lives. I’ve always been goal-oriented, but this has been magnified during this experience. I feel that I’m much more mature now and I’m prepared to move into the next phase of my life.
Once I was allowed to transfer back to the school district, I transferred to Desert Valley High School. The credit program at Desert Valley has helped me earn the credits I need. I asked for more classes and was given all that I needed in order to graduate on time. The unique placement and timing of the grading periods has been a big help, allowing me to acquire all the credits necessary for graduation in an efficient way. Because of this, I’ve had to implement self-discipline to make sure that I’m doing well in all of my courses. I’ve been constantly working to better myself and ensure my success. For example, I’ve been studying for the ASVAB test and I’ve met with a Navy recruiter to discuss my future.
It’s important to always remember that everything you face is just a factor that shapes you as an individual, and you should never let your mistakes define you.
Challenges are inevitable. They may be difficult, but I have learned they can help you. The obstacles that I’ve faced have helped me become a better person. Without them, it may have taken me longer to determine what I want to do with my life and changed my outlook completely. I’m grateful for every experience I’ve gone through. It’s important to always remember that everything you face is just a factor that shapes you as an individual, and you should never let your mistakes define you.
Joshua Morales attends Desert Valley High School in the Brawley Union High School District.
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