Liz Torrey

When I first came here, I was very nervous- I didn't know what to expect. I went to my previous school for 8 years, so they knew me pretty well.

When I came here, I didn’t know anyone; the classes were small, and a bit weird, and I only knew one person- Lauren Brenton- who “came” with me from my old school. 

She is still my best friend to this day.

I didn’t know where I stood with the other students when I first came to the CLASS program. But once I got to know them, I started to feel more comfortable.

In the CLASS program, I think we all realized that we had differences that we needed help with, but we didn’t have to fear each other’s judgement.

I felt more calm in CLASS than I did outside of it, because it was a small group of students, and they became my second family.

During my first year, I was often afraid of asking questions. But I soon came to realize that it is better to ask questions than to remain silent. I think this is a result of growing closer to my teachers.

Even having Ms. Stroud’s dog, Rufus, was a blessing. Whenever I would need a break, going outside and throwing the ball with him was helpful. CLASS gave me somewhere to go when I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere else.

I hope everyone finds the place where they feel like they belong.

For me, that place was where we threw little birthday parties, and went to Disneyland together as a family. And, it was Ms. Sullivan’s Art class at the end of the day.

For me, that art class wasn’t just a place where we made art. It wasn’t just a time to talk with some of my best friends, and see one of my favorite teachers-     it basically became group therapy; it was where Alli, Kandace, Nikki, Ms. Sullivan, and I discussed our day, talked about our lives, relaxed and refreshed ourselves, or where Mr. Thomas would come in randomly and discuss our favorite TV shows, like Supernatural, while I waited for Ms. Sullivan to help me out.

During my time here, I have always felt comfortable with my teachers. I struggle with anxiety a lot, and often have panic attacks, but I felt like I could break down and they would completely understand.

So in summary, my time here has been a struggle, but it has also been a wonderful experience that I will never forget. I believe that we will all go through struggles, but to quote Jared Padelecki, I hope that you will “always keep fighting!”