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Student Stories


Karina struggled in school and dropped out her Freshman year. Soon after, she got pregnant. She stayed out of school to take care of her daughter Mia for two years and thought high school was just not a good fit for her. Then Amber, an advisor at Futures Academy, called her and got hold of her father. Amber told Karina’s father Futures would help her get back on track and provide access to resources for her daughter. Karina didn’t want to go, but once she toured the school and felt how welcoming the staff was, she decided to give it a try.

Though she had a stable home at her father’s, Karina’s biggest challenge was how to go to school and care for her daughter and younger siblings, while her father worked. Each day she would get her siblings to school, her daughter to daycare (an Aurora Public Schools’ program, housed in the same building as Futures), and then attend Futures. Still she thrived. She started passing her GED tests and enrolled at the Community College of Aurora taking pre-nursing requisite classes.

After several semesters at the Community College of Aurora, Karina’s daughter was diagnosed with stage three cancer. Karina had to put her dreams on hold as she stepped away to take care of her daughter, but Mia was a fighter and after a year + of treatments, she was recently given the title of “cancer free.” Karina is more determined than ever to pursue her dreams of college and become a nurse to care for others the way that the nurses cared for Mia.
“The best part is I feel like I am succeeding, that I am doing something positive for my future and Mia’s future.”