You CAN do it

In General

Breaking the cycle of self-destruction is difficult, if not impossible. When you stop working, it snowballs into getting behind, and before you know it you can’t catch back up no matter how hard you try. This is what Devika Bishun faced after losing her father in January of 2010.

Devika became very sick due to stress. She started to miss school and quickly became unfocused. In her junior year, she realized graduation would be impossible if she didn’t start applying herself. She was so far behind her classmates, no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t get back what she let go. She began to give up hope until she was introduced to Simon Youth Academy at the Terrace at the Florida Mall in Orlando, Florida.

“Simon Youth Academy gave me a second chance to prove to myself that I can be successful,” said Devika. “The teachers were so patient with me to make sure I would be able to make my next future steps. My experience at the Academy has not just been attending school, but it made me feel like I was going to my second family.”

Devika said crossing the stage to accept her hard-earned diploma will be a special experience. Going from a deep hole to having hands extended to help her find the fortitude to do it is something she will never forget or take for granted.

“I will be the first in my family to earn a high school diploma and I am very proud that my diploma will be part of ensuring a successful future. I will further my studies in Social Work to help families and children deal with emotional and physical difficulties. Due to losing my father and receiving tremendous help from different social workers and programs, this dream has become possible and I want to inspire this hope in others.”

Devika’s goal is to work with Hospice and Palliative Care to care for people who are facing a life-threatening illness or injury. She wants to emotionally and spiritually support patients’ needs and wishes, and support the patient’s loved ones as well. Devika learned more than just history and math, she learned that all someone needs is a chance and someone to be there for support along the way.

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