I am a changed person

Hello. I am proud to say today, in front of all of you, that I am a changed person.

Before my rude awakening at Thayer Learning Center, I was a troubled teenager who made all the wrong choices in life. I was headed down the road to a hard life and I was getting there extremely fast. I thought I was invincible and that I would never end up one of the kids in all those statistics you read about. If I would have never come to Thayer Learning Center I would have been one of them.

When I was at home I was a very disrespectful person to my family and myself. I got into many fights with my parents and I would yell and scream at my mother. I would push my mom around a lot and cuss at her. We never really had a good relationship with each other. There wasn’t good communication between us and whenever she had something to say I wouldn’t listen anyway. I was skipping school a lot and partying all the time. It was just another way of hiding from all my problems. I often lied to my parents and did my best not to tell them where I was or where I was going. Sometimes I would come home in the early hours of morning and pretend that everything was all right.

My parents had been thinking of sending me to a boot camp for years. They finally decided in the beginning of April. When I arrived I was very angry at the world, but that didn’t last long. I was very stubborn and it took me until my 36th day to get my brown shirt. The hardest part of boot camp for me was paying attention to detail and making the choice to work hard for what I wanted.

I moved up to residency on July 22nd, my 105th day. While I was in residency I let myself slip and get too comfortable, which cost me a couple of trips down to boot camp. It was very tough to put up with 25 girls, all with different problems and personalities that clashed all the time. I spent about 7 months in residency. I was in residency so long because it was hard for them to take me seriously when I joked around so much. So it took me an extra four months to move up to Senior Resident.

I did very well as a Senior Resident and I moved up to Junior Staff in less than two weeks. I moved up on January 28th. Junior Staff has been a tough and fun experience all at the same time. Sometimes it gets tough trying to be the example 24/7. I also had so much I needed to get done and so much that I was looking forward to.

I have made it through the program 412 days later and persevered through it all, all the smiles and the tears. I have had a life turn around and have learned a lot. The greatest thing I have learned is to just love and be loved in return.

If I could tell all of the cadets here at Thayer Learning Center one thing it would be that the greatest things we have in life are Faith, Hope, and Love. Live with all of them. I am leaving today, respectful, self-confident, and happy.

I would like to thank my precious family for supporting me and being beside me all the way, and the Bundys for helping to give me my life back. I would also like to thank the sergeants for making Jr. Staff fun, and everything else they’ve helped me with. My family rep, I would like to give you a big thank you for being a great family rep. To all the other incredible staff members thank you all for helping me along the way to get me where I am today. Last but not least, thank you for always being there.

Thank you.