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Friday, September 18, 2015

Phoenix Academy Graduate Shares Success Story

Phoenix Academy graduate Amber Fewell returns to the campus
to visit the staff that helped her.
When Amber Fewell became pregnant as a high school junior at age 17, she said a lot of people told her she would not be able to earn her diploma. She missed an entire semester of her senior year after having her baby, but was determined to still graduate on time.

“Everyone I talked to would say, ‘You can’t do that! You missed too much school, and you have a daughter to take care of now,’” Fewell recalls. “I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I needed help.”

Her help came in the form of Mansfield ISD’s Phoenix Academy. She finished a year’s worth of credit in one semester.

“The Phoenix Academy offered a lot of resources that kept me motivated. I had one-on-one attention, and a mentor mother came in to talk to me about school-life balance. Being able to talk about my situation was very helpful,” said Fewell.

Just as planned, Fewell received her diploma with her peers. She described crying in disbelief and being proud that she was able to reach her goal no matter how many doubters there were.

“That was the moment I realized there was no stopping me,” said the recent graduate.

Fewell currently works in the healthcare industry and has dreams to become a trauma nurse, and later a CareFlite nurse. She said she’s been taking care of others as early as 10 years old—when her grandfather was diagnosed with melanoma cancer. And when he later passed away, she began looking after her grandmother who was severely diabetic.

With her foot in the right direction, Fewell wants others to remember two simple words that saved her at her lowest moments.

“You can. No matter how many people say you can’t, you can. Keep telling yourself that all the time."