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Last updated: 2013
Alexis Metcalfe’s world was turned upside down the night her father left home for good. Parental disputes had been common in the Metcalfe household, and at age 11 Alexis frequently found herself in the role of mediator. However, on that evening, mediation proved impossible. The argument escalated to threats, and the threats to violence. Alexis’s father was hauled off to jail and decided never to return. A homemaker, Alexis’s mother lost the families only source of income, and Alexis, a self-professed “daddy’s girl,” lost her father.
“I marked that night the worst of my life,” Alexis said of the evening. “I found myself replaying that night over and over, and…blaming myself for what happened.” Her grades plunged for her remaining two years of junior high, and, for the first time, and she failed a class. “My motivation and drive were gone, so I just stopped trying,” she said. She grew increasingly shy and began to isolate herself from classmates. At home, Alexis and her family struggled to piece together their shattered family life. Alexis’s mother had difficulty finding steady work, and the family was forced to rely on foods stamps, unemployment, and Medi-Cal to get by.
Five years later, Alexis, now a junior back on her feet. She earned perfect grades her freshmen year and sophomore year, and she is on track to repeat the achievement this year. She has also regained her self-confidence and is viewed as a leader among her peers. Alexis also participates in many extracurricular activities, including the California Scholarship Federation, and she serves President of the Youth Department and Youth Choir. Alexis credits her family, her spirituality and her determination for her turnaround. “I could not have done this without their support,” she says.
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