By Keith Russell
DALLAS, Texas (KTVT) — As Dallas ISD gets set to start a new school year, they recently had their summer graduation for those who weren’t eligible to walk in the spring.
One graduate has an inspiring story about how what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
“When you try not to focus on the bad, good will eventually come to you,” said Wilmer Hutchins High School graduate, Christian Sampson. “So I tried not to focus on the bad stuff that was happening, even though there was a lot of bad stuff happening.”
At Dallas ISD’s summer high school graduation ceremony, Sampson could remember the time when he never thought he would cross that stage.
Last October, he started a stretch of six months on the streets after a fallout with his family forced him to leave his home.
Despite stretches of not showing up to school, Dallas ISD’s homeless education program continued to give Sampson access to resources and his counselor at Wilmer Hutchins HS.
“He kept coming back,” said Almethia Smith, Sampson’s high school counselor. “The determination…I’m just full, cause he’s gonna go places.”
Now with a high school diploma in hand, Sampson’s next stop is the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, which has given him a full scholarship to be in their marching band.
“I’m a musician,” Sampson said. “I’m good at what I do. I know I’m gonna go to college and that’s gonna line me up to do what I wanna do for my career and that’s gonna line me up to get out of the position I was in.”
Sampson is focused on his bright future despite everything that has happened in the past, but he promises to return to DFW one day as a champion of hope for others.
“There’s too much going on out here to not wanna help…help the people in the situation I was in. Help the people who can’t afford some stuff. Help the people not get evicted. Help the community,” Sampson said. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done around Dallas.”
Sampson currently lives in Arlington in an apartment funded by the Salvation Army. Now, the only thing he has to figure out is how to get to college, because he doesn’t have a car. But if he’s proven anything, he will find a way.
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