When Donnie Green was 3 years old, he took apart the family’s VCR and put it back together. Granted, it didn’t work after that, but it was the beginning of his love of building things.
Now 18, he graduated Wednesday from Three Springs High School in the Cheney School District.
It wasn’t an easy task: His family was having money troubles, and he needed a full-time job to help.
At Three Springs, an alternative school, students must attend school one day a week, and the staff works with the parents and student to develop an individual learning plan.
Lisa Staub, a Three Springs counselor, said Green loves skateboarding, but since he is fiercely loyal to his family, he traded his skateboarding time to work full time.
Green said that attending Three Springs was a better fit for him than Cheney High School. He said he is very shy around a lot of people, so the smaller student population at Three Springs helped.
“There’s not that many people, so there’s not all the drama,” Green said.
He credits John Michel, a Cheney High School counselor, with recommending the school.
While the high school student was thinking about his future, he was surrounded by many people who dropped out of high school. He didn’t want to work a low-paying job for the rest of his life, so he decided to pursue his diploma.
“I never really thought I was going to make it to the twelfth grade,” said Green, who is the first member of his family to earn a diploma.
“I think it’s really good,” said his sister, Laura Green. “I didn’t graduate. He’s got more willpower than I did. I’m really proud of him.”
Green said he really wanted to stay in school because of his mother, Tammy, who inspired him to stay.
Green has plans for his future. He wants to attend a carpentry and cabinetry class at Spokane Community College in the fall to learn how to make furniture.
“I’ve always been interested in building things,” he said.
Counting down the days until the graduation ceremony, Green said he was looking forward to picking up his cap and gown.
Although the road to his diploma seemed long, Green said he has a certain amount of pride now that he finally made it.
“It feels pretty good,” he said.