Age 23.
Graduate of Wolfson High School. Attending Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Allishia grew up as the academically talented, middle-class military brat with a stable home in Jacksonville. But almost overnight, her life was disrupted by her parents’ divorce.

By junior year, she had been to three high schools, starting out at Stanton College Preparatory, then Robert E. Lee High, finally landing at Wolfson High School. Wolfson became her safe haven as her home life crumbled. She kept busy with the school’s Finance Academy, as well as extracurricular activities. And she worked outside of school—at one, sometimes two jobs— to help support her family.

“At school, I felt like I was doing something with my life,” Allishia said. “I got to do a lot of things and learn a ton. I got to be around people I felt loved me and cared for me.”

When she was not yet 17, Allishia was kicked out of her mother’s house after an argument.

But caring adults in her life wouldn’t let her fall: Her boss at European Street Café gave her a home and acted as her caregiver. Meanwhile, two supportive teachers at Wolfson checked on her constantly, offered emotional support and made sure she graduated.

“Preparing for college and graduation was difficult because I didn’t have any of that support at home,” she said. “If it weren’t for Ms. Force and Ms. Hanks, I wouldn’t have walked [at graduation].”

Thanks to them, Allishia is working on her college degree. Her future is bright.