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Ms. Fox: Her Work Changed My Life
Marlo Scott

My family struggled when I was small. We were in and out of shelters, and my parents abused drugs and fought violently. Nevertheless, I always felt my mother loved me, and I was a good kid who did well in school.

However, when I was 11, my mother died of cancer. I did not understand why my mother had to die, and I grew angry about my life. I felt like no one cared for my feelings, not even my father.

As tension rose within my father’s home, I grew more rebellious, turning to my street friends for brotherly love. The domestic violence I saw early in life made violence seem normal. I began to fight, smoke weed, cut school, and hang out late nights. I got caught stealing and was sent to a residential treatment center called Graham Windam.

In My Corner

Although I had always been strong academically, I felt nervous about entering a new school. One of the first people I met was the school guidance counselor, Ms. Fox. She greeted me with a skeptical stare—her eyes wide open and her forehead covered in stress lines. It made me feel nervous about meeting the rest of the school staff. If the guidance counselor has an attitude problem, imagine everyone else!

She took a glance at my transcript so that she could make my schedule. In a split second, she gave me a gigantic Kool-Aid smile. She had seen my 100 in Integrated Algebra.

She told me, “Although you have missed a lot of seat time, I can help you.”

The words “I can help you” lit my ears like a pair of brand new headphones. No school staff had ever cared enough about my life to say that they would sit down and take the time out to help me.

“If you can help me, I could succeed,” I said.

She replied, “Don’t trust in me to help you; trust in yourself.”

Those words touched me. Throughout the remainder of the school year, she pushed me to excel; she liked to motivate smart kids who wanted to move forward. She would call me to her office and give me a hot breakfast every morning. Ms. Fox even bought me a pair of sneakers when I needed them.

Knowing I had someone in my corner rooting for me made me feel loved and safe from false advice and negative energy. Ms. Fox cheered my positive aspects and she often reminded me of my goals to graduate high school early and get an accounting degree. Ms. Fox even generated new class electives, so I could have a sneak preview of the accounting and business realms. With all the support she gave me, I knew she sought the best in me.

Starting to Fly

I soon found myself with 37 credits, enough to become a senior. I realized how far I had come when Ms. Fox called me into her office one day. She was sitting with the assistant principal, who said, “Marlo, you walked in here to our school barely a sophomore, and now you have damn near 40 credits, sir.” I looked at Ms. Fox, who was smiling hard. I was so proud I wanted to cry, but I held back my tears with a gigantic smile.

Ms. Fox does an excellent job at working with teenagers to help them become more independent. She got me into Advanced Placement courses and to college fairs. All the nurturing and pushing made me view Ms. Fox as a mother figure, which I cherish.

Her inspirational lectures convinced me that only the strong-minded would prosper. I had to rise above the mischief and bad influences that lead to failure, and, as Ms. Fox loves to say, “Fly with the eagles.”

In one month, I go away to college. I am expecting a lot of new things, people, and hobbies to come along. I am nervous about college. It is up to me now to make the right decisions. This time around, there will be no Ms. Fox to help support me and make me feel better about myself. I hope I can carry on what she has taught me, that I can use the wisdom and strength Ms. Fox has given me to tackle college—and the world.

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