Caleb Crawford bounced around between a few schools before a familiar school with a new approach got his attention.
“I just wasn’t motivated to do my school work or anything,” he said. “My counselor at Street School, she recommended me here. But I didn’t really think anything of it, I was just at a point where I didn’t want to go to school anymore.”
Hesitant at first, Caleb's family cheered him on.
“My parents being supportive, the supportive parents that they are, encouraged me to try it out. And ever since I came here it’s been life-changing,” he said.
The growth was almost immediate.
“Whenever I started finishing classes within like two days, and I finished a class within an hour, and when I realized I could do that, I was like, ‘I could actually finish school this year,’” he said.
For Caleb, Tulsa Learning Academy provided a life-changing experience.
“I come to TLA and I finish 3 years of school work in 9 months,” Caleb said.
The path wasn’t easy - Caleb was looking at a mountain of work to overcome and was ready to walk away.
“They told me I had 30-40 classes that I had to finish or something like that. And I just thought it was impossible, I just went home, I didn’t think anything of it,” he said.
But Caleb gave the work a shot.
“Most of my work was finished at home, and I came here once or twice a week to finish an exam or test or something,” he said.
Soon, he saw how much support he really had at Tulsa Learning Academy.
“It was the teachers here. For the first time ever in my life, these teachers, I felt like teachers actually wanted me to succeed,” he said.
They gave Caleb the support and relationships he needed to be a champion.
“They really showed that they cared and wanted me to have a better future,” he said.
He’s picked up some invaluable life lessons along the way.
“If you surround yourself with good people that want to see you succeed, I feel like that will definitely spark some motivation and give you the drive to work hard,” he said.
With this new drive, Caleb is planning to go to Tulsa Community College, hoping to one day pay it all forward.
“I kind of wanted to be a counselor. Like a school counselor in middle school or work with high schoolers that are going through the same situation that I’m going through," he said. “I think it would be the best thing ever because I know how they feel. I’ve been there before so I will want them to feel like, ‘Hey, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of people just like you.’”
It took Caleb less than one-and-a-half years to make up for being three years behind. He found a program that worked. Something different. Something he’s been able to use to show his family he can overcome challenges.
“Making them proud, that was like, that was like the best feeling ever,” he said.