After being expelled and not passing enough classes to graduate, Kimberly Link found a different route to her dream job.
The traditional school route at Indian Creek High School didn’t work well for Link.
After sharing with her classmates that she was gay, she felt she wasn’t accepted and didn’t like the way she was treated by her peers. She kept her feelings to herself and didn’t want to tell her mother or any other adults because she didn’t want to be labeled a tattletale.
By her junior year, the stress was too much. She began skipping school, and her grades fell dramatically. She opened up to the school guidance counselor and her mother about her problems, but she still struggled.
Then she was expelled after making threats to commit suicide and bringing a small knife to school. She spent a week at a mental health treatment facility in Greenwood and learned valuable coping skills and was ready to return to Indian Creek High School for her senior year. But her depression lingered.
“I showed up at school, but the classes I did not like I did not go to,” Link said. “And when I was in class, it was like I wasn’t there.”
Link finished her senior year but didn’t graduate because she passed only two classes. Around that time, she got a registration packet from Indian Creek Learning Center in the mail, offering her the opportunity to get her diploma in a different environment. She enrolled and noticed an immediate change.
“I gave the learning center a try and absolutely loved it,” Link said. “They were flexible with my work schedule, and I didn’t get burnt out because I only had to go three hours a day. It took me a while to finish, but I set my mind to it. I wanted to prove to everyone that I could go back and get my diploma.”
She learned how to manage her time and went from being a D and F student to a B and C student, she said.
At the end of the month, Link, now 21, will have her Indian Creek High School diploma. The learning center also helped her to get a job working at a behavioral treatment center in Bartholomew County, helping counsel young people going through difficult times — her dream career.
After graduation, she plans to save money for school and eventually go to Vincennes University to study to become a paramedic and then Franklin College to major in psychology.
Name: Kimberly Link
School: Indian Creek Learning Center
Lives in: Trafalgar
Post-graduation plans: Work and save money for school. Go to Vincennes University to become a paramedic, and then Franklin College for a degree in psychology.