Success Stories

  • Karina, 2018 Graduate

    Your legacy. This is a guiding principle in Karina's life. Two years ago she began volunteering at Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge. This is because she was being drawn to a career in the medical field.

    "I have gained a new perspective and insight into the profession,” said Karina about her volunteer experience. “Through nursing I feel I can help the most people and make the biggest difference in the world.”

    In the fall, Karina will be attending Red Rocks Community College. She also plans to continue volunteering at Lutheran Medical Center. Later, Karina has her sights set on attending the University of Colorado to earn her nursing degree. Karina will be the first in her family to graduate from high school and go to college.

    “Growing up I didn’t think I would reach this point,” said Karina about earning her diploma. “Education had failed many times in my family. This is a big accomplishment. I am proving the statistics wrong – that people like me are getting pregnant at a young age and will never earn a diploma.”

    Karina appreciates the community at HOPE’s Awaken Academy for sticking with her throughout her years at the Learning Center.

    “They believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself,” said Karina, who started at Awaken in 7th grade. “I appreciate they take kids in who don’t fit in a regular school environment.”

    Middle school at her former school had been a struggle for Karina. One her largest challenges was bullying. At HOPE’s Awaken Academy, she found a more drama-free environment and appreciated the smaller atmosphere.

    “They push you to graduate,” said Karina. “When you put your mind to it, you can do it.”

    While at Awaken Academy, Karina has been involved in their poms team, as well as played volleyball. She also attended Prom and competed in the ACE Business Challenge, earning top honors during her senior year competition.

    “Karina’s academic success is a testimony to her adventurous and indomitable spirit,” said Ms. Ann Coney, the HOPE Building Resource Teacher at Awaken Academy. “She has razor sharp focus and determination. Yet, for all her strength and tenacity, she is always friendly and down-to-earth. I know that she’ll accomplish wonderful things in the future!”

    Ms. Ann Coney is someone who Karina admires. Even though she has been battling cancer for several years, Karina says Ms. Coney is one of the most positive and strong people she has ever met.

    “I owe a lot to her in helping me decide on my career,” said Karina. “She has definitely left an impact on me I won’t soon forget.”

    Karina’s younger sister, Vanessa, also is a student at Awaken Academy. She is thankful for her family, especially her parents, who are originally from Mexico.

    “They grew their family here as they wanted a better life for all of us. Getting my education is helping my parents fulfill their vision for us,” said Karina.