A Dream Come True Claudio Schanck Fifteen and pregnant I dropped out of school and all the dreams I wanted for myself squashed. As time went by, I accepted my situation and tried to accept my fate. I had so many dreams and one was to become a famous writer. Instead I became a young girl thrust into motherhood and marriage, clueless about life, and angry with the world. I envied all the girls my age that were doing the things I wanted to do; going to dances, dating, and having fun. Most of all, I envied them because they were going to do the one thing I felt I would never get the chance to - walk across the stage and receive my diploma. Believing for many years that I had blown my opportunity, I accepted that as a reality. Most of my adult life was filled with shame and regret of the fact that I never finished school. Other than my family, I never told anyone my secret. By a stroke of luck I was offered good jobs even though I did not reveal the truth on my applications. As time moved on, I would often avoid conversations about the whole high school experience that most enjoyed for fear of my colleagues learning my secret. As I reached my fifties, I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need a diploma. I thought what for I had a good paying job and worked for a good company, it wasn’t important. However, in my heart, I knew having my diploma was important to me. Therefore, I made a decision it was time to make me happy. I chose to return to school to work towards receiving my high school diploma. In September 2010, I passed my final exam and in June 2011, I reached my goal and walked across the stage to receive my diploma. I tell this story in hopes that it will encourage others. It is never too late to go after your dreams, and you are never too old. Just because a door is closed, doesn’t always mean it’s locked, turn the knob. Claudia is a Certified Nursing Assistant, a mother of three, and a grandmother of seven who enjoys writing poetry, and has plans of writing a book in the very near future.