“I wanted a future,” Xavier said. “I wanted to get my life together.”
Xavier, age, 23, has lived life with a few twists and turns. He hasn’t always liked school . He hasn’t always made the best choices in friends. That said, his mother and his grandparents are powerful, stabilizing constants in his life. He is now a dedicated student at VAL, on route to graduating in June 2023.
“My Mom is a huge influence on my life,” Xavier said. “She’s my number one supporter, always in my corner. I love my Mom a lot. She’s always been there for me. My grandparents have also been there for me. I’ve been raised to know manners and taught to respect others.”
Xavier is a deeply religious young man who strives to honor his Roman Catholic faith. He credits his grandmother for bringing him to church and reading the Bible to him.
“VAL helped me learn that I’m smarter than I thought,” Xavier said. “I’ve always had an interest in science. I had a really good science teacher at Hunt Middle School in Burlington. I like chemistry and biology. I also like history and learning about true crime. I have some learning challenges, but I try not to let them get in the way of my education. I’m just really proud of myself for getting my life together, doing my classwork and not giving my teachers a hard time.”
When asked about his ambition, Xavier, clearly, has been pondering the possibilities that exist within the realm of his interests in science, history and religion. Right now, he’s focusing on being a diligent student and friendly peer at VAL’s Franklin-Grand Isle Learning Center.
“My teacher, Kristy, takes her time and makes sure I understand everything,” Xavier said. “She’s really patient. We talk a lot about what’s going on in the world. It’s a good time when I come here, seeing the smiling faces of the staff and students.”
“I always look forward to Xavier coming in! He always brings a fresh perspective and a willingness to learn,” Kristy said. “His enthusiasm inspires me to be a better teacher.”
“People should know that VAL is a wonderful place,” Xavier said. “They work their hardest to help you achieve and graduate. I wasn’t a fan of school and now I love it. VAL is s a fun place AND you get your education, so why not?”