High school presents an array of new choices, experiences and responsibilities to every student during those four, at times, grueling years.
Those responsibilities can seem even more daunting when life at home is chaotic.
Deer Park High School senior Savanah Haney spent the first three years of her high school career juggling classwork with an unhealthy home life, spurred by her parents’ split and grief after the death of her brother from an accident.
“The first couple years in high school were really rough,” she said. “The at-home support really wasn’t there.”
Haney worked through those times as best as she could, until one day she realized something needed to change.
“Finally I was like, ‘I’ve had enough. I need to do something better for myself,’ ” she said. “I just got myself out of there and decided that I want better in life.”
Haney left home the summer before she was to begin her senior year. When school began, she talked with her counselor about changing her living situation.
Her counselor suggested filling out a Child in Need of Services Petition, which allows youth under age 18 to live with someone else. Haney moved in with her oldest sister and has been there ever since.
“Before I would be missing a lot of school because I’d have to do chores before I could go to school,” she said. “Now I can get to school, I haven’t missed a day and I have practically straights A’s. All A’s and one B.”
With a brighter future on the horizon, Haney hopes to turn a newfound love for digital design into a career as a digital design technician.
She will attend Spokane Falls Community College and is looking to design websites, business cards and logos after graduation.
Having weathered the storm, Haney knows just how difficult getting out of a bad situation can be, but she wants students in similar situations to know that it’s possible.
“It takes willpower to actually try to change,” she said. “You have to see what you want to change and actually change it. You have to see it and then believe that it can happen, and then you can make it happen.”
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