I was adopted when I was four months old and came to the United States from Guatamala, where I was born. My mother also adopted my younger siblings and we lived in San Francisco. My mom worked long hours and we did not see her very often. A few years ago she became very ill and was eventually diagnosed with stage three lung cancer. She was forced to leave her job and for a while we only had cereal for dinner.

When my mother passed away, it was like an illusion and I didn’t accept it until the day of her wake. I was already failing my classes and finding out who I really was NOT. I went into a state of anger and depression and was furious at God. But then, after Christmas, a couple adopted us, we moved to their home in Omaha, and I started at Gross Catholic High School.

The Maxwell Family

My education journey is complex. I was taught in special education classrooms for fourteen years of my life. I wasn’t taught math or much science or history, mostly only English. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there and wanted to get out but knew I could not do so on my own.

“I have a 3.4 GPA and am thriving in this school.”

I went from public school from pre-k to freshman year in high school. The second semester of my freshman year I started at Gross High School. Until I came to private school, I really struggled academically and in my faith. My high school has given me a new slate to start over both academically and socially. Since I’ve started my grades have improved. I have a 3.4 GPA and am thriving in this school. My parents decided to send me to this school because it’s a Catholic school, but also because I’m able to thrive and be the person I want to be.

School choice would help many more kids because families could choose the kind of education they want for their children based on what benefits them the most.