Foster care student finds home at Austin Can!
Ashley was put into foster care as a young girl. Over six years, she was placed in seven foster homes in three different cities and attended 15 different schools. “I’m not saying those schools were bad or that I was getting into trouble,” Ashley said about her decision to attend Austin Can! Academy, “but I needed a school that was smaller, that didn’t have as much peer pressure.” At TEXANS CAN!-Austin, Ashley quickly got involved in extracurricular activities such as basketball and track. In addition to working full-time, Ashley attended classes four hours a day. She talks about the differences she experienced at Austin Can! “I became much more positive about myself. Teachers knew my name. They worked with me one-on-one. People said nice things to me; gave me encouragement. That just doesn’t happen in foster care.” Her transformation was exhibited through her sky-high performance. Ashley earned straight A’s and earned Winner’s Circle awards numerous times. “My friends and my real family encouraged me,” Ashley said. “They knew that I didn’t have to come here … I wasn’t in trouble with drugs or anything. But they are proud of me for doing so well and setting a good example for others.” As a graduate in 2006, Ashley reflected on her experience. “Austin Can! Is a really good school,” she said. “The staff is great. They taught me to stay with it and never give up. And most importantly, it made me a better person.”