To seek out Bryant Scarlett’s path to the highschool commencement stage, one has to begin wanting in Jamaica.
There, Scarlett was unmotivated. Missing route and residing along with his mom who jumped from one employment alternative to the following, college by no means was fascinating sufficient to carry his consideration.
He’d somewhat be writing, he mentioned.
Due to a household tragedy, he, his mom and sister discovered themselves in the US. On a bus experience from Florida to Texas, the world shifted.
“I used to be serious about what I used to be going to do with my life,” Scarlett, 21, mentioned. “We have come to America and I’ve this chance and I’ll be a bum? I’ve gotta buckle down. And from there, I simply went off.”
At an age the place when the motivated are going off to school, Scarlett entered that yr as a freshman at Premier Excessive College. And now, at an age the place school commencement is often in sight, he lastly finishes highschool with commencement at 7 p.m. Thursday on the Paramount Theatre, 352 Cypress St.
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Discovering the American dream
Scarlett’s time in Jamaica included a cease at Spot Valley Excessive College, which the American system would contemplate a center college.
Jamaican education ends at 16.
There, he mentioned, he fell in with a sure crowd. He mentioned he tried to slot in, however he actually wasn’t nice at carrying out that purpose.
When he was 14, his mom’s husband — who was residing on the time in an residence in Miami, Florida — died.
As a result of his household was so distant and unable to drop all the things to journey to the U.S., his belongings had been cut up up amongst his different members of the family. Scarlett’s mom was left with an residence now in her identify with no approach of paying the lease, he mentioned.
Seeing no different approach, they moved to Miami. With hardly a plan, he mentioned. His mom began work as a janitor to assist pay the payments, however they quickly misplaced the residence anyway.
On the similar time, Scarlett nonetheless was skipping college, selecting to spend his time at dwelling writing. Whether or not it was rap verses, poetry, scripts for animated tv he hoped would in the future develop into actuality, Scarlett was perfecting that a part of his mind.
College, he thought, was meaningless.
They moved first to West Palm Seaside. Shortly thereafter, his mom’s new job at Blue Cross Blue Defend introduced the household west to Abilene.
He had 18 hours on that bus to get his act collectively.
Getting it collectively
As commencement approaches, Scarlett mentioned it was the no-nonsense method by now-Campus Director J.P. Reeves that helped maintain him in line.
Premier’s credit score recovery-style choices allowed Scarlett to go at his personal tempo as soon as he enrolled.
However Reeves, he mentioned, pushed him to be higher than the slacker who obtained on that Greyhound bus.
Within the course of, Scarlett discovered he really liked studying about some particular topics. And whereas writing is one in every of his favourite hobbies, it isn’t the one factor he excelled in.
There’s additionally science, he mentioned.
“I am fascinated by life and the human physique,” he mentioned. “There’s a lot extra on the market that we do not see.”
Life has modified a lot for Scarlett since he modified his mentality. He thinks again on the best way he was, who he pretended to be, and feels an amazing want, he mentioned, to make amends.
In a roundabout way, he mentioned, he owes it to himself and those that he was hassle for.
“I actually wish to return to Jamaica in some unspecified time in the future and apologize to my lecturers there,” he mentioned.
Subsequent up for Scarlett? He is trying to get his driver’s license, for one. And this coming college yr, he is hoping to proceed his schooling by enrolling at Cisco Faculty.
“I put myself within the state of affairs I used to be in,” he mentioned, “and on that bus, I believed I wished some issues however I had no plan on the right way to obtain them. Solely I may get myself out of that state of affairs and I did it.”
Timothy Chipp covers schooling and is normal assignments reporter for the Abilene Reporter-Information. In case you recognize regionally pushed information, you possibly can help native journalists with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.