Sobriety leads to success for Truman grad

Breana Jack - Courtesy photo
Breana Jack
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Just a few years ago, it seemed doubtful Breana Jack would graduate, let alone on time.

Now she is on her way to college.

Jack started drinking and experimenting with drugs in eighth grade. By her freshman year at Thomas Jefferson High School, she was sneaking drinks in between classes.

“One thing led to another and I got expelled,” Jack said.

She left TJHS without a single credit.

“I thought there was no hope,” Jack said. “I kind of gave up.”

There was hope. Jack’s parents convinced her to enter a rehab program, and she enrolled at Truman High School.

Truman’s "work at your own pace" philosophy worked well for Jack. The school gives out 50 assignments and 30 are required for each year.

Jack did every single one.

“The hardest part was getting back into the routine of school,” Jack said. “To try and do it without drinking. At TJ, I would always have liquor on me and drink between classes. I had to relearn how to go to school.”

She graduated on time this year, after doing four years of high school in three years.

She also began an internship three months later at the treatment center where she got sober.

“It was a motivator,” Jack said. “If I screwed up, then there goes my internship.”

When Jack turned 16, she was hired on at the treatment center.

In addition to working at the treatment center, Jack also had some medical experience after working at St. Francis hospital after befriending her orthopedic doctor. In middle school, Jack had broken her ankle, and later she had ACL surgery done by the same doctor.

“He didn’t just look at my leg,” Jack said. “He looked at me as a person.”

Through that doctor, Jack was able to watch ACL surgery . It was there that Jack found her calling to be an orthopedic surgeon.

“It was for sure after that,” she said.

Jack has turned her life around to reach that dream. In addition to Truman, she also took Running Start courses this last year, taking 25 credits at Highline Community College, where she received a 3.96 GPA. She will continue at Highline for another year and a half before she plans on transferring to a university.

She already has won several scholarships for next year at Highline.

Jack doesn’t see what she has done as anything special; in her eyes things just fell into place and worked out.

“The main thing is to fake it,” Jack said. “Pretend you are motivated and confident, and then the next thing you know, you are.”

“There is hope for everyone,” she added.

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