Survivor and Success Stories: Living a Good Life, By Choice

I’ve had the honor to meet a number of people who have overcome tough breaks and/or pretty crummy lives, or who just decided to do something to better their lives.   These folks are definitely champions.  Their stories are presented in no particular order, other than how they came to me.

Kayla W.

I had the pleasure of being Kayla’s high school counselor, her senior year, and her advocate after she graduated.  Each year, I would provide a letter of verification for Kayla’s financial aid.  She is definitely a success story as she continues her career in finance, and lives happily married life.

Ashley M.

I was Ashley’s high school counselor, and knew a bit about Ashley’s background, but I had no idea what she and her brother had been through.  This is Ashley’s unedited account.  Ashley eventually found a man that treats her as every woman should be.  I think he’s pretty cool, in that he’s a “Gear Head,” like me.  It is my honor to have them both as friends. – Shin

 Amy B.

Amy was one of my high school yearbook students, always on top of things and seeming to have her life together.  I had no idea what had been going on, and what she went through later in life.  Amy and I reconnected and she was willing to point me towards this pod cast.   It’s amazing how she’s brought her life back to good.

Wendy Launius 

I was one of Wendy’s high school teachers, back in the ’90’s. Wendy and I reconnected some time back, and I enjoyed her posts, and our conversations, about her modeling and upcoming acting gig. Wendy and I had even been talking about doing a photo shoot, when she suffered a Brain Aneurysm. Wendy survived and is fighting to gain her strength and get her life back to as “Normal” as possible. She has plans to get back into modeling, and I don’t doubt that she’ll make it.

EXCITING NEWS!!!!  Wendy has written a book, I Still Shine, telling her story as a survivor.  You can learn more by clicking HERE.

Erin C.

Erin, was an “interesting” student of mine.  Little did I know what was going on in her life.  Although Erin and I spent numerous hours in D-Hall, together, she never opened up back then; now she has.  In recent conversations, Erin has revealed the downs of her life, and how she’s turned around, and is clean, productive and happy.  I really admire how she’s turned her life around.

Andy O.

Andy is a former shop/yearbook student, who kept his “Dark Side,” secret during his school years.  I didn’t know about Andy’s past, until we reconnected, and he shared this story.  Andy has become one of my best friends, lending support during my “dark times.”  Funny how the teacher/student relationship can evolve.  I really admire Andy, as he’s not only a great Father/Dad to his daughter, but he’s reconnected with his Biological son, and is “Daddy” to his girlfriend’s little girl.  Andy’s a successful business owner, and has really turned his life around.

Amanda K.

Amanda, another student in some of my classes, was a Sophomore, when she was hit head on by a drunk driver.  Amanda was on her way home from a Students Against Destructive Decisions dance.  I shared a bit of Amanda’s story in my blog post, Life Goes On.  I’ll share Amanda’s full story when she’s done.