PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - One student from every school in Escambia County is honored the night of April 9 with the Student of the Year program at Booker T. Washington in Pensacola.
When 12th grader Taylor Garrett was expelled from Tate High School, that could've been the end. No more dreams, no more education.
Instead, with the help of those close to her, she's now on the verge of being named Valedictorian of Escambia Charter School.
And she was honored Tuesday night as the institution's student of the year.
"I've had crazy troubles, but I couldn't do it without my parents. They help me through everything, and they were always there. Especially Mr. Chisolm at Escambia Charter, he helped me through a lot. Whether it was trouble in a class, or with someone around me, or anything from home, to school, to wherever- they helped me through everything," Garrett said.
With proud families watching on, dozens of students received their awards and shook hands with Superintendent Malcolm Thomas and other school board officials.
It was all in front of a packed auditorium at Washington High School.
"This is the one event that I look forward to all year long," said organizer Cindy Gerhardt. "There's going to be a lot of tears shed because the stories will just tug at your heart and their precious. But these students, they're my heroes. They've gone through so many things, things that some adults probably can't handle. It has just been a fantastic experience to help put this on."
For the ones honored, it was life-changing.
"Going over to Escambia Charter was one of the best things that has ever happened to me," Garrett said.
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