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The following aired on KCBS.
By: Joshua Clayton
I didn’t even know the meaning of the word flunk, I showed up at a 5th grade class and they told me I was still in the 4th grade.
By the time I got to middle school, I flunked two more grades. People told me to step my game up, that high school was when it really mattered. So, in the 10th grade I started to get serious about school. For the next three years, I did all my work and got better grades. I had dreams of being an artist for Pixar, creating animated movies.
But at the end of my senior year, my family started falling apart. I never graduated.
Now, when I get calls from art schools, I don’t get excited because I know what they’re going to ask me at the end. “Do you have a GED or high school diploma?” “No,” I say, “No, I do not.”
Without a GED, I feel like I only have a 20 percent chance of finding success.
I’ve been given opportunities to get a GED, but that would mean giving up my part-time job. Even though it doesn’t pay enough for me to ever get ahead. Without a high school diploma, sometimes life feels like a game I cannot win.