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The national high school graduate rate has hit a record high at 81.4 percent, but a number of students and communities must be reached to continue that growth. Today’s global economy demands a more educated workforce, requiring more students to graduate from high school prepared for post-secondary education and career.Public media is helping local communities keep more students on the path to a high school diploma, college & successful careers.WSKG is a proud community hub station of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen! Check back often for local Education news reports, media produced by teens from our area, and opportunities to get involved!

Music and Mom Help Student Reach Graduation

Champions go by many titles: teacher, coach, neighbor, friend, boss, classmate, or parent… Just to name a few! As part of WSKG’s program on graduation, we asked students to tell us about the person, place, or program that helps them find successful in school. 

Flo Wolf credits her mom's support in making it through mental, emotional, and physical obstacles.

Flo is working toward her high school diploma from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES in Binghamton, NY. She is studying Business Management in the Center for Career & Technical Excellence. Flo plans to attend SUNY Broome in the fall and continue on, studying Neurosurgery at Upstate Medical. *Please be advised of the sensitive nature of this story. This piece discusses one teen's struggle with suicide and self-harm.

Submitted by Flo Wolf:My mom tells me everyday that she is proud of me and she loves me a lot. I don’t know where I would be without my mom. My mom has dealt with my anxiety, depression, and my social issues. When I was thirteen, I became extremely depressed and I started self-harming and starving myself. She was there with me through every depressive episode and anxiety attack. She helped me when I herniated multiple disks in my back and through my epilepsy diagnosis, taking me to every appointment, every MRI and CT-scan, x-ray, and hospital visit.When I was 15, I attempted suicide. My mom stayed with me until I was admitted to a health center. She came and saw me as much as possible and, when she couldn’t come, she’d call me on the phone.My mom supports me in everything that I do, including my music. She has paid for NYSSMA for six years in a row, All-County for seven years, Binghamton Youth Symphony Orchestra for two years, and paid for lessons over the summer. She does whatever is necessary to make sure that I can reach my goals.Within the past year, though, my mom has had many medical issues, and she has been strong through everything. A the same time she went into the hospital, we were evicted from our house. She was under a lot of stress and she made sure that bills were paid and that I was safe. Then, in October, I was arrested and she was there for me mentally. I honestly didn’t think that I was going to make it through my arrest and the three-week suspension from school. But, I did.My mom supports my decision to graduate early from high school, and she supports my decision to go to SUNY Broome in the fall.She’s always taken really good care of me, and I can’t thank her enough. She is my world and I love her so much. I am so happy to be her daughter. My champion is my mom. 


Sharing Student Voices

Flo's essay was a selected submission from Who’s Your Champion? community callout. Her story is part of a collection of student reflections celebrating the individuals who provide endless help, support, and encouragement along the challenging path to high school graduation.Thanks for sharing your story, Flo, and helping us honor your mom and your champion. Your courage and strength are impressive. Together, with your classical music talents, we are confident you will experience continued success! 

More Champion Stories

Learn about the individuals and programs supporting students across Upstate New York. These featured champions were nominated by community members or honored by students from EverTech Academy at Broome Tioga BOCES. Music Credit: Flo Wolf performing La Flute De Pan, second movement Pan Et Les Oiseaux, by Jules Mouquet  American Graduate is made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.