This student has just received a full scholarship to play football at college. While he always dreamed of playing football, when he was twelve he became addicted to drugs, which kept him from performing well in football and at school. He tried more and more drugs until he joined Ms. Gruwell’s class, which gave him motivation and made him feel that he had potential. After working hard at school, he now looks forward to going to college and starting his football career.
This student’s self-destructive habit of consuming drugs was, it seems, strongly influenced by his environment, which did not give him a sense of self-confidence. By contrast, the motivation he felt in Ms. Gruwell’s class was soon sufficient to make him stop taking drugs and work hard. This demonstrates that ambition and self-respect can be deeply positive forces impacting one’s behavior.