This student is amazed to have been chosen to speak in front of Barbara Boxer, their senator. Ms. Gruwell and all the Freedom Writers chose her out of the entire group. She recalls the various rebellious acts she took part in during high school, including piercing her nipple and leaving the house without her parents’ consent, skipping school, piercing her tongue, and cutting classes to spend time with her boyfriend. When Ms. Gruwell threatened to kick her out of the class, she suddenly put an end to her rebellious behavior and gave priority to her education and the group of students who have always been there for her. She concludes that she does not want to let the Freedom Writers down.
This student’s rebellious past and current achievements demonstrate that one’s success is not determined by one’s past but, rather, by the passion and hard work that one uses to overcome the past. She realizes that one of the most important things she has drawn from the Freedom Writers is an intense sense of community. Indeed, the mere threat of losing that community was sufficient to make her change her entire behavior and invest herself in her studies. Her sense of accountability to the group plays an important role in motivating her to succeed.