I was never one for the regular school system. Just thinking about entering a classroom a few years ago made me feel ill from the anxiety, often I would walk a couple of minutes to school in the morning, and turn back around. I was scared of the world entirely, I believed there was no safe place or person worth trusting.
After years in the mental health system, I finally was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. A little bit after meeting the psychiatrist who played a huge part in helping me move forward in my life, I was enrolled in the Cadence Program. It was there that I learned that being a leader starts with showing up. My attendance skyrocketed, I began to trust people again and I experienced so many amazing opportunities that changed my life. The motto of Cadence is “a leader is someone who looks at their world and says it doesn’t have to be this way and does something about it.” I changed so much in my two semesters at Cadence. I learned skills that I used today in mu regular life, kicked back habits and changed my internal dialogue to a more positive one. I also had wonderful teachers supporting me as I kept growing.
After graduating from Cadence with a new mindset I found myself wanting to go into another Alt Ed Program. I looked into SWAC (School Within a College) and selected to go into the culinary Dual Credit Program. At Cadence I was taught the importance of cooking and eating a meal as a family. Taking introduction to culinary is a huge leap forward and I am learning how to cook meals I’ve never heard of before and some I would never attempt to cook probably ever (on account of it being too hard for me to handle or the likelihood of the house being burnt down).
Being in the kitchen and really pushing myself to be the best me I can be where I complete my tasks and help others along the way has definitely increased my overall confidence. In the kitchen, we’re all on the same team trying to complete the same goal in the end. That goal being… making delicious food! Alt Ed programs saved me from dropping out of school and really made my high school experience something amazing that I will remember forever. Thank you for this opportunity and thanks to Mrs. Kurylo, Chef Bruce and all the Dual Credit teachers for being super awesome!