Don’s story is a familiar one at AAMA. When he began high school at a large, traditional public school, his grades were pretty good. Smoking marijuana seemed to help with the stress in his personal life. But as his substance abuse increased, his attitude changed and his grades dropped. He fought with other students if he felt they didn’t respect him. Even the threat of probation didn’t deter him from smoking.
When his probation officer referred him to AAMA’s residential counseling program, Don wasn’t sure what to expect. What he found were counselors who helped him learn to control his impatience and negative feelings. He also found a school with small classes where the teachers really listened and helped him catch up.
Don’s story isn’t finished, but he is learning to make positive choices that change the direction of his life. He says he has more confidence now. He has completed the counseling program and is continuing at Sanchez Charter School. Now he dreams of going to college. Now he knows it is possible.