Stories - Manchester, MAJonathan: A Love of Learning

Jonathan loves learning and always did well in class – until he began to struggle in high school. Emotional challenges caused him to miss days – then weeks – of school at a time before he eventually dropped out partway through his junior year.

I was out of school because of my depression,” Jonathan said.

He was out of school for a year and a half as he sought treatment for his depression. “My mom said I was trying to recover,” Jonathan said.

Eventually, Jonathan felt ready to work toward getting his high school diploma. Friends told him about the High School Equivalency Test or HiSET (formerly the GED). Jonathan learned that Action Inc. offered HiSET preparation classes through the COMPASS Youth Program, so he came to Action Inc. to enroll.

His first impression was overwhelmingly positive. “I felt very welcomed there,” Jonathan said. “All the people I met were great people.”

At COMPASS, Jonathan thrived. He worked with our teachers to improve his writing and math skills – and to set a plan for his future. Jonathan became an assistant teacher, helping other COMPASS students prepare for the science and social studies sections of the HiSET.

After nearly two years of hard work, Jonathan received his High School Equivalency Diploma in spring 2017. He was recognized for his efforts with a Carol and Dick Ryan Scholarship award at Action Inc.’s Annual Meeting in June (see photo above).

This fall, he begins classes at the Gloucester Biotechnology Academy (a program of the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute). This one-year program will prepare him for a job as a lab technician. He intends to work as a lab technician to finance his college degree. Someday, he hopes to get his Ph.D. – potentially in evolutionary psychology.

Jonathan has always been interested in science, but COMPASS helped him move forward and work toward his goals.

Where I am today is because of COMPASS,” Jonathan said.