Mile High Youth Corps is very excited to recognize the achievement of one of our YouthBuild Corpsmembers, Tequael Walker. Tequael has just earned his high school diploma through Aurora Public Schools, giving our YouthBuild program its very first diploma. This achievement would not have been possible without his hard work and perseverance, so we would like to take this opportunity to recognize him and his dedication.
Tequael attended Gateway High School in Aurora until early 2011. When he saw that he would not graduate on time, he dropped out of school. “Why do it if I can’t graduate with my own class,” he recently recalled. He was going to be the second person in his family to ever graduate high school, so naturally, they were all disappointed to hear of his decision. But after a surge in motivation, Tequael decided to try his hand once more at high school and returned during the summer in an attempt to complete his courses.
Time, however, was not on his side, and once again, Tequael saw that he would not complete his classes before the end of summer school. When his family lost their home, with no job and no diploma, Tequael began looking for work.
In his search for employment, Tequael found Mile High Youth Corps and applied for our YouthBuild program which employs 18-24 year olds without high school diplomas or GEDs. While working at MHYC, Tequael was able to take several of his incomplete high school classes online. Soon, he had finished Geometry, several gym classes, and English, which due to poor attendance had remained unfinished since his freshman year.
Tequael finished his remaining credits and last week finally earned his high school diploma. We are grateful for partnerships with Denver Public Schools, Colorado Youth for a Change, and the National Schools Initiative (NSI) funded by The Gates Foundation that have made it possible for MHYC to offer a diploma option. Mile High Youth Corps is incredibly proud of Tequael and his outstanding work, both on the job site and in the classroom. The Walker family is equally proud and Tequael says they all plan to attend the YouthBuild graduation ceremony in May.
Congratulations Tequael! You have made us all very proud.