Stories of Dropping Out: ‘I Was Learning to Handle Things My Own Way’

Twenty-three-year-old Steven Gholston was born in Louisville’s South End but moved all over Jefferson County, even spending time in Cincinnati and Georgia. He says constantly being on the move was difficult.

Gholston says he attended over half a dozen Jefferson County Public Schools before dropping out. 

This is the second in a series of stories WFPL is airing over the next month profiling former public school students that left school before graduating. The series sheds light on the personal narratives behind statistics and data media often report. 

“My academics were fine. I actually did really well in school.”

I had no problem doing any kind of school work. I always got distinguished on my writing assignments. I always did really well. The only thing is that I had my own attitude towards stuff.

Socially, I didn’t fit in anywhere because I was athletic, but I was academic. I was quiet but I joked around a lot too. So I didn’t really fit into any kind of social group in high school. So I didn’t really feel like there was a place there for me.

Why did you attend so many JCPS schools?

I had behavior problems and then sometimes we just moved out of the area. So I get into a fight or something like that or I was having problems at home, so I wasn’t taking things out the right way.

“Whatever you’re going through, try to talk to your counselors.”

Find good people that’s around you. Try not to fall into peer pressure and try to handle things the right way, because one mistake in high school you can end up with something on your record.

“I kept everything privately. That’s just how my attitude was.”

I have four younger brothers, so I wasn’t setting a good example for them. I’ve got two brothers completing JCPS this year, both of them got honors, one brother is in college, the other is studying to be an insurance salesman. And we’re all grouping it back together.

You’re going to just have to figure out your own way. Just don’t give up. If someone don’t support you just say Ok I don’t have support. But are you the only support that you need? Find it in yourself to complete your goals. Don’t rely on anybody to do it. They can’t graduate for you; you’re going to have to do it on your own.

Last week’s installment of Stories of Dropping Out, “I Started to Procrastinate.”

Devin Katayama

Devin Katayama host middays for WFPL and reports on education and other Louisville issues.

@DevinWFPL

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