The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Teacher Lesson Return to "From Inmate to College Student"
From Inmate to College Student
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In “From Inmate to College Student,” Marlo Scott relates how his life so far has been a mix of academic achievement and troublemaking.

Prompts for discussion and/or writing

• How has the desire for money pulled Marlo in directions both good and bad? (Possible answers: It made him study hard to pursue his dream of being an accountant. It made him steal from other kids.) Has the desire for money made you do things you regret or that you’re proud of? How do you see yourself becoming financially independent?

• What are the different ways the death of his mother affected Marlo? (Possible answers: He felt different from other kids and this made him long for nice clothes to fit in. He felt alone and angry and fought a lot. His anger and his longing for things made him steal. He remembered she’d always said to do well in school, and he wanted to do that for her. He also missed her praise when he did well, so even doing well in class brought up bad feelings.) Does a mixture of good and bad responses to a loss sound familiar? Have you “acted out” after you lost someone? Have you tried to be better to honor their memory? Have you done both, like Marlo did?

• Give some examples of Marlo’s perseverance. (Possible answers: He took a GED class in Riker’s even though he didn’t know when he’d get out. He studied six hours a night for his Regents exams after he got out of jail. The first two colleges he wanted to go to didn’t work out, so he kept pushing until he got into a third.)

• Find the points in Marlo’s story where his good grades helped him out. (Possible answers: He gained acceptance in middle school by helping kids with their schoolwork. The judge let him out of Riker’s early because he was impressed with his achievement at his RTC’s school. He passed his Regents and was able to get into three different colleges to pursue his dream.) Have good grades or other examples of patience and achievement helped you through a tough spot?
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