When Savannah was a young girl, she grew up in a home environment that was different from her friends’. Her father was not a part of her life. She was fortunate to have a caring mother and grandparents, with whom she lived and with whom she built healthy relationships. After she started school, she struggled in many of her classes and wondered¬†why she felt different from other people.

One day, the Therapeutic School¬†principal approached Savannah and asked her if she would be willing to talk with him. Savannah begrudgingly agreed. The principal told her that everyone’s goal was to help her unlock happiness and find her path to academic success, but she needed to accept their help. His words shocked Savannah, but she took them to heart. The next day, she started focusing on learning, achieving good grades, and building relationships with her new peers. A year later, Savannah had completely changed her perspective on learning and education. She exceled at school for the next few years, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit during her senior year, she faced new challenges. Like so many other students, Savannah was forced to continue her learning from a distance, and she felt very lonely and anxious without her daily support system. But Savannah knew she could succeed, despite the new struggles she faced. By the time the school year was over, she had successfully graduated from the Therapeutic School, despite the overwhelming odds she felt were against her. Savannah continued her education at Iowa Western Community College and regularly sees a counselor to help her with her mental health concerns. She has also rebuilt relationships with some of her family members and enjoys spending time with them as much as she can. Now, Savannah can. Can what? Can anything. The answer is up to her.