College AIM was founded in January 2013 with the purpose of providing avenues to and through college for all students at Towers High School. Today, this remains our mission. The concept is simple: provide inspiration, provide access and provide support.
I was a â??crack baby.â?? To this day, my mom struggles with substance abuse and growing up, I never knew what it was like to have a mother who paid attention to my education. My older brother wasnâ??t the best example for me to follow either; he had been affected by my motherâ??s bad habits and as a result was held back twice in elementary school. Eventually he ended up in prison. To deal with the frustration, I acted out in school. What my teachers failed to realize though were the roots of my behavior. They didnâ??t see that I was having trouble at home and needed someone to confide in. When I was in fourth grade my mother went through her first rehab program. Thinking everything would be better, I put my trust back in her arms and began to improve in school. Just a few weeks after coming home though, my mother was gone once more. The morning after she disappeared, my future step-dad woke me up for school and told me that my mother was using heavily again. Devastated by his words I slipped back into my ways of acting out in school. The progress that I made while my mother tried to get better disappeared, and I began to not care whether or not I went on to middle school or high school. My behavior issues in school lasted until seventh grade when my English teacher, Ms. McQuary, noticed that I was failing most of my classes and intervened. She told me that if I didnâ??t straighten up I wouldnâ??t make it to high school; eventually I would be stuck working at McDonaldâ??s trying to figure out how to make my next rent payment. I told my mom what she said and was shocked by my motherâ??s response. â??Well you know I never graduated high school. Itâ??s ok if you donâ??t want to go to college.â?? Listening to her words, I was crushed. My own mother didnâ??t have high expectations for my education and told me it was ok to quit on my dreams. Like a messenger, the next day I retuned to school and told Ms. McQuary what my mom said. Ms. McQuary told me that she believed in me though. She said that I would be something great in life, that my mind was a gift and I would be known across the globe. Ms. McQuary was the first teacher who ever encouraged me. She was the first teacher to lead me to better myself so that I could one day benefit the world. Since that moment in middle school, I have worked with a chip on my shoulder. I refuse to be a product of my home environment. As I progressed into high school, the turbulence caused by my motherâ??s drug use continued. She was upset by my attempts to come between her, the drugs and an abusive boyfriend and repeatedly called the police to get me put in jail where I would no longer intervene. All along, my grandmother was the person who stayed strong for me. Remembering how she tried, and ultimately failed, to help keep my brother from prison she told me, â??The only way you are going to make it out of that house is by finishing school and going to college to be somebody.â?? Throughout high school I have worked with that mindset. This year, I was finally taken into child services custody along with my two younger siblings. And after a stint in a group home, I am now living with my grandmother. I am happy to say that my mom is also getting the help she needs. Regardless of what has happened in the past, I am supportive of her decision to go into rehab once again. Iâ??m currently a ward of the state, but will graduate from high school in May and be the first person in my family to go to college. Although these ongoing situations are challenging, they have made me who I am today. I am a person who looks toward a better future, keeps a positive attitude no matter what the situation, strives to overcome obstacles and keeps his head held high. -Kortay