Portrait of Whitney in blue graduation cap and gown.

Whitney, a Senior at Todd Beamer High School, was referred to our School Outreach Coordinator, Gina Forest, by her ROTC teacher. Whitney was one of his top cadets but he was worried about her attendance and some hardships she was facing at home with her mother’s health.  Whitney was working extra shifts to help as much as she could at home which meant her education came second.

Gina worked with her counselor and others in the school to create a plan that would help Whitney stay on track to graduate, and a team of people she could lean on during this time. Gina also provided Whitney with food, school supplies and other basic needs items. She helped get her to prom and her military ball, something that was important to Whitney to attend.

The last month of school called for a final push to help Whitney achieve her goals and graduate. There were days when Gina would have to call home to wake Whitney up and get her to school. Other days, Whitney would find herself in Gina’s office for a quiet place to study and get work done. Whitney worked diligently this last month of school, and the team of support she had around her kept her motivated to keep going. Finally, her grades rose, and she completed all of her requirements for graduation! Despite the extreme and unexpected hardship Whitney faced just months before graduation, she overcame the adversity and set herself up for a bright future as she plans to join the military.