Six Annapolis area students overcome odds to graduate

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GradStoriesWill ShorterWWill Shorter, Glen Burnie High School

Being the senior class president at Glen Burnie High School would be an achievement for anyone, but the title holds extra honor for Will Shorter, who for years struggled in the classroom.

In first and second grade, Will did poorly on tests and could not keep pace with his classmates in reading and other subjects.

"The most difficult thing was seeing my classmates move faster than I could," Will says. "It was frustrating when they could complete a test quicker than I could."

In second grade, he received an Individualized Education Program, which gave him individual academic goals and special accommodations, but also placed him under the special education label.

When Will entered high school, he decided he wanted to get out from under his IEP.
"I remember the first day of high school as a nervous freshman, my principal said to us, 'Life is hard, but life is harder without an education,'" Will says. "I knew I had to overcome this challenge to be successful in life."

So, Will pushed himself academically, spending extra time mastering concepts and studying for tests. His hard work paid off.

"At my 10th grade IEP meeting, they decided I worked so hard that I didn't need an IEP anymore," Will says. "Now I'm off an IEP and am taking AP classes."

After graduation, Will plans to attend one of the four universities where he has been accepted and major in government and public policy. Then, he hopes to attend law school and run for public office.

"I like helping people, and I would like to encourage people to rise above their problems," he says.

Click next below to read about Raven Fox, Elizabeth Seton High student, and other graduates overcoming odds.

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