Michelle Flynn “I go through every day here with a smile on my face. I’ve gotten hold of some direction in my life. Before SMC, there was none.”

In the early years, people often learn about what they’re worth by having others telling them what they’re worth. So it was with Michelle Flynn in her high school days, a time that still hurts her to talk about. “When I would ask questions in my school, the teachers didn’t care to answer me,” she recalls. “They treated me as though they’d already figured out that I wasn’t going to college, so why should they waste their time on me. And I began to learn that I wasn’t worth their efforts.” The ‘lessons’ Michelle learned in high school have been hard ones to un-learn.

“I’m a single mother and I’m still on my own, without much guidance,” she says. “I only just discovered that you have to take 12 units to qualify for financial aid, so I’m doing that now. My family could have helped, but they’ve been waiting to see if I’m serious about where I’m going. Now that they see that I’m on my own, and dealing with it on my terms, I hope they’ll have a little more respect for what I’m trying to do.”

Ultimately, Michelle plans on designing homes and has been inspired by a class she’s taken with Mr. Davis. “I was like a sponge in that class,” recalls Michelle. “He talked about different college options, design elements, architecture principles and the fine arts. He just seems to know every aspect of building and design,” she says. But though the ‘dream houses’ she plans to build may be a few years down the road, Michelle is making the best home she can, now, for her daughter, Valerie.

“She just went to her first day of school, and she’s very proud of herself. And that was traumatic for me because, when I went to school, I was barely spoken to. But now we sit and do our homework together,” says Michelle. “And whatever happens, she’s always going to hear from me just how good she is.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.