There’s a First for Everything

In General

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” It can be scary to make the decision that your dreams are worth it. When staring violence and poverty in the face, it’s hard to realize there is a way out. Luis Prieto-Pena was on the verge of giving up hope that his life could be different than his older siblings and kids in his neighborhood on the eastside of Indianapolis (IN). Working third shift to help support his mother and five siblings was a big responsibility for a 17 year old, but Luis had a friend who ignited hope that by earning a high school diploma he could break the cycle of despair.

In America’s down economy, stories like Luis’ are growing. More than 7,000 youth walk away from high school every day, some mere credits shy of earning their diploma. Luis was almost a year behind in school and saw no way to recover from the lost classes. Simon Youth Pacers Academy at Washington Square Mall showed him a way to keep his job and earn his diploma. Not only did Luis become the first in his family to graduate high school, he did so by exceeding everyone’s expectations. He developed a love of numbers and decided he wanted to go after a career that would keep math in his life.

Watch Luis’ complete story here. Be sure to share it with everyone you know, especially those who may need a little inspiration to become who they are meant to be.

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