A champion and a second chance

BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — This is the story of a champion and a second chance. Cameron Christian is a proud 2018 graduate of Dixie Hollins High School; although, four years ago you may have thought him graduating was impossible.

He admits he made some bad choices, but it was his ability to recognize his faults and make a few critical decisions that fueled him to change his game plan and sprint across that stage as a champion.

Cameron’s freshman year at St. Pete High did not start off on the best of terms. Like a lot of students, he was feeding into bad influences and skipping classes, which quickly affected his academics.

“My freshman year of high school, I did not know what I was really getting myself into,” said Cameron. “I made a lot of bad decisions in my younger days. I ended up failing a couple of classes, and I did not attend summer school that summer.”

As a result, Cameron’s grade point average suffered greatly. He was entering his sophomore year with a GPA that would not qualify him to graduate if he continued on the path he was on.

“I did not notice at the time what I was doing with my education,” Christian recalled. “I finally got a reality check, seeing that I was not getting anywhere with my actions.”

Cameron transferred to Dixie Hollins his sophomore year and was far behind on credits. He found himself falling back on old habits. He continued to skip classes and participate in activities that would negatively affect his education.

But, this time around he decided to do something different. Christian knew that if he wanted to graduate that he needed to have an accountability partner.  So, he sacrificed a summer of fun with friends and enrolled in summer school.

This time around, Cameron demonstrated that he was serious about his future.

He showed that just as he had made decisions that would delay his progress, he was equally capable of making choices that would set his future up for success. While in summer school, Cameron passed multiple tests and classes required for him to meet grade-level standards.

He went into his junior year with a new outlook and another chance to show his skills. Unlike past years, he was very comfortable with his grades.

“I stopped skipping, and my grade point average started rising. I was on track with my credits, and I was set for my senior year,” said Cameron.

Still, his work was not complete. Although he had made great strides in improving his grades, Cameron would have to make another series of decisions that would ultimately set him up for the win.

Determined to become the champion of his own sport, Cameron made a decision to forego homecoming, prom and hanging out with friends to make sure he was on track to graduate.

“I just never really got into friends at school because I was too busy catching up on work I needed to do,” Christian explained. “But my years of high school — without any of that — were still great.”

When Cameron switched his tassel over at graduation, it signified more than just graduating; he had beaten all odds. He became the champion of his own sport.

With plans to continue his win, Cameron will become a nursery grower. His mother Marcella Christian and mentors make up his team of support. He made the most of his second chance.

Jah’tia Haynes contributed to this story.

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