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The Second Chancer


Since completing S.O.A.R. and entering the Automotive program, Michael has more confidence and a positive, supportive peer group to keep him on track.

Michael's story

Steering Himself into a Brighter Future

My life before enrolling in Chemeketa was a mess. I spent many years in and out of jail and getting into trouble. I was jobless, unemployable and had a drug problem. I spent a couple years of my life homeless as a result of my own decisions and bad choices. I wasn't a very nice person either.

Four years ago, I was enrolled into a drug and alcohol and criminal conduct program at Chemeketa called S.O.A.R (Student Opportunity Achieving Results). That's when my life started to turn around.

I chose to enroll in Chemeketa’s Automotive program because I have always shared a passion for classic cars with my Dad and older brother. When I was a young child, my brother and I would fix cars with my Dad and it was very interesting to me.

Since entering the program, I feel that I have more confidence in myself and now have a positive group of peers that constantly support and encourage me to be a good person. I also know so much more about vehicles and the science of how the many different systems of a vehicle work. I've learned that it is possible to work towards a degree and hold a job as well.

I will be the first person in my family to graduate college and I hope I can also inspire more of my family members to seek a college education as well. I also want to inspire people that are struggling in life like I was—just because you have a dark past doesn’t mean you can't have a bright future. Anything is possible if you are willing to give up the things that are weighing you down and work towards things that will lift you up.

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