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A Second Chance and a Choice to Serve Joshua Long is a senior from Canon-McMillan School District attending PHASE 4 Learning Center in Washington, PA. Josh’s story begins at the beginning of his 11th Grade year. Josh’s junior year began just like any other student’s, but his normal year would soon change. Josh like many other students began to cave under the extreme pressure imposed upon him by his peers. These pressures included things like partying, girls and giving in to friends’ demands. Josh tried very hard to juggle his new-found social life and his academics, but soon realized that he was not able to manage them both. Josh, not wanting to give up his new found popularity and adventurous social life, found his academics slipping away. By the end of his junior year Josh had failed three classes and had several incompletes due to his poor attendance and academic progress. Josh was faced with a harsh reality. He was not going to pass his junior year. His school counselor gave him two choices. The first was to repeat the 11th Grade and graduate a year later. He would no longer graduate with his class. Josh did not want to repeat the 11th Grade and threatened to drop out of high school. This stance prompted his counselor to give him another choice – a second chance at success – to attend PHASE 4 Learning Center. His counselor explained to him that at PHASE 4 he could recover the lost credits, get away from the negative influences that had impacted him academically and graduate on time with his class. Attending PHASE 4 would also allow Josh to fulfill his dream of serving his country. Josh’s dream of serving his country was born while in middle school, when Josh heard a Marine speak on Career Day. The Marine’s words touched Josh deeply and made him want to be one of the Few, the Proud, the Marines. Acquiring a high school diploma would allow him to keep this dream alive. Josh made the tough choice of leaving his friends behind to attend PHASE 4. Josh has worked hard throughout the year. He has stumbled a few times along the way, but with the support of family, his recruiter and the PHASE 4 Staff, Josh will make it. He will graduate on time and with his class. He will be able to fulfill his dream of serving his country by becoming a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. Josh like many students before him has embraced the second chance offered to him by both his home school and PHASE 4 Learning Center. Josh has shown that he is a strong young man with the ability to overcome obstacles and truly has what it takes to make it as a Marine.


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