Determined to Never give up

A concussion he suffered in his freshman year impacted a Center Grove student for more than a year after.

Yuriy Clements sustained a concussion while playing football at Center Grove High School, and the effects of it were something he had to deal with for the next year and a half, he said.

“At first, I don’t think everybody realized how serious it was. Even the teachers didn’t,” Clements said. “It got bad, where I couldn’t sit in the classroom. The noise bothered me and the lights.”

Before Clements recovered from the concussion, he got bad news: his parents were getting divorced.

Clements fell behind in high school.

“I wasn’t doing my school work,” Clements said. “Even if my concussion was getting better, I wasn’t doing my school work. I didn’t want to do anything at all. I was just so depressed.”

By the time he was heading into his senior year, he knew he was going to have to attend a fifth year of high school in order to graduate, but his dad always told him that he couldn’t give up, Clements said.

“Throughout my whole life, my dad has really taught me not to quit,” Clements said. “As soon as I hit the high school level, he would sit down and talk to me about how important it is for me to graduate, and how far you can get in life with graduation, just having a high school diploma.”

For the past year, Clements has attended Center Grove Alternative Academy and made up about 12 credits so that he could graduate this year, along with his peers.

For Clements, the alternative academy was a more positive environment for him to be in, he said.

“When I wake up, I’m happy to be here,” Clements said. “I’m excited to go to school, even though I’m tired.”

Before Clements had completed his school work to get his high school diploma, his family had planned a graduation party to celebrate, as extra motivation for the teenager. Now, they will be celebrating his graduation.

Clements plans on working full-time, but hopefully taking classes to be an emergency medical technician and a firefighter in the future.

“I’m going to cry when I graduate. You will see me bawl my eyes out,” Clements said. “Just coming so far and realizing how much I’ve done this year.”

The Clements File

Name: Yuriy Clements

Age: 19

Residence: Center Grove area

Graduating from: Center Grove Alternative Academy

Future plans: Get full-time employment, and wants to become a firefighter