Jesuit Community College student Celeste* was involved with the justice system and was enrolled in a course as part of her Community Corrections Order. She wrote to College staff to thank them for their support as she built self-esteem and pride through her experience of studying.
When you first came along, I’m sorry to say that I was one of the people that hated the idea and gave you such a hard time. Even though we were pretty nasty, you were so calm and kind, and never stopped explaining why you and the Jesuit [Community] College believe that learning is so important for everyone.
I am so happy that you didn’t give up on me and I’m telling you this so you know that what you do is really important. I want to thank you for your persistence, kindness, intelligence and understanding.
As you know, I never finished school, and when you met me I couldn’t stop talking, interrupting, arguing and creating drama and chaos in the class. I hated classes when I was a kid, so I sure didn’t want to have to do any more as a grown up. These were all bad habits I’d used at school many years ago and also in the prison system.
I’ve started now to understand many of the things we discussed in your class such as to ‘pick my battles’ and… I’ve learnt to try new things without arguing before I try it. I’m still fiery, but I have learnt to use strategies and think my reactions through before going off.