Forest Hill Senior Overcomes Obstacles To Graduate

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Jacqueline Lott
May 17, 2012

Homer Alexander Jr., faced numerous problems in school, but he didn’t let them deter him from his dream of becoming a high school graduate.

Alexander, a 21-year-old senior, will graduate this month after years of struggling academically.

Alexander started school later than most children, and he has been playing catch-up ever since.

“When I had to repeat the 5th grade is when I really got behind in my grades,” he said.

Once he made it to 6th grade at Siwell Middle School in south Jackson, he felt it was a fresh start.

“Participating in the band was very positive for me. I enjoyed playing my instrument,” he said.

High school was Alexander’s biggest challenge. As a freshman at Forest Hill, he hung around the wrong crowd and got into trouble. He said he spent a lot of time in in-school suspension.

Alexander joined the choir during his sophomore year and it helped him to get a grip on his class work. By his junior year, his grades started to improve. Alexander was keeping his grades up and staying positive about his future. He also failed his Algebra I exam several times.

“I was so glad I finally passed my exam. I knew for sure I was going to graduate,” he said.

Alexander said his U.S. History and Geography teacher, Mr. Douglas Wansley, was encouraging and helped him prepare for his state exams.

“Mr. Wansley kept telling me not to give up and he always made time to help me. I will always appreciate what he did for me,” Alexander said.

His father Homer Alexander, Sr., is very proud of his son, along with other family members.

“I’m happy he will finally graduate and get his diploma. I want my son to be determined and accomplish every goal he faces in life,” said the senior Alexander.

During a recent forum at Cardoza Middle School, Dr. Ivory Tolson, spoke about the obstacles young, black males face in America. Tolson said black males drop out of school at higher rates than any other group.

As Alexander awaits graduation day, he’s already thinking about his future. He wants to study diesel mechanics and eventually work for the postal service.

When asked what advice he’d give to other teens who are considering dropping out of school, Alexander replied: “Dropping out should never be an option. If I did it, you can too.”

Forest Hill Senior Overcomes Obstacles To Graduate by Jacqueline Lott -



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