March 5, 2013

At the Crossroads

Sonia Davis visiting Rome on a recent break from school.

Do you ever have 'what if' moments? For example, what if you had made a different decision or went down a different path? For better or worse, your life would be completely different. Sonia Davis thinks about this on a regular basis. Sonia graduated from Simon Youth Judson Learning Academy at Rolling Oaks Mall, San Antonio, Texas in the fall of 2011, but was on a very different path 2009.

"Before I went to the Academy, I had been out of school for over a year and didn’t have very high hopes of graduating," Sonia said. "There aren’t a lot of options out there for people without university, let alone a high school diploma. If not for the Academy, my life would have taken a completely different turn, probably for the worse."

Sonia is not unlike many of the more than 10,000 graduates who have earned their diploma since 1998 in Simon Youth Academies across the United States. Her motivation and belief in herself dwindled when she dropped out of high school. These two areas were bolstered as soon as she began her work at the Academy.

"The most important thing I took away from my experience at the Academy is probably a renewed faith in myself. Going to the Academy and being able to graduate with a 4.0 GPA gave me the confidence to apply to some of the best International Relation Schools in the country and abroad."

After she graduated with her high school diploma, she was accepted by Richmond American International University in London and began attending in the spring of 2012. She is majoring in International Relations with a minor in History. Her newfound courage has propelled her in a new direction towards success. She has several admirable goals professionally and personally.

"Once I get my Bachelor of Arts, I hope to continue my education here in the UK and get my master's degree. From there I want to move back to the states and take the Foreign Service Officer Exam and start a career in the United States Foreign Service. The Academy is by far the best decision I have ever made and I thank all the donors who gave me the opportunity."

She credits her teachers with inspiring her to go after her dreams and see what happens. SYF tells students if they start here, they can go anywhere. Sonia Davis is another inspirational story and she is igniting hope at every turn.  

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