Triad girl returns to high school after dropping out, graduating top of her class

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Several students in Guilford County Schools are graduating this year after dropping out of school years ago.

Nineteen-year-old Ana Torres is one of them.

She was born in Mexico and came to America with her parents when she was six.

She did well in school here but even at a young age, Ana wanted to work full time to earn her own money.

She also worried she wouldn't be able to afford a college education or get the documentation she needed to be accepted to school.

"When I turned 16, I told my parents I did not want to go to school anymore, that I wanted to work," she explained. "I could tell that they weren't happy with it."

Ana worked a full-time sales job, traveling on the weekends for work and missing out on a year and a half of just being a typical teen.

"I did not hang out with my friends as much as I wanted to because I was tied down to what I was doing. I missed being a teenager," Ana admitted.

Counselors and administrators with Guilford County School's Middle College at GTCC - Greensboro program remembered Ana and continued to encourage her to come back to school.

"We say second chances," Principal Rodney Boone pointed out. "People are allowed second chances and we want to give people second chances to achieve."

Ana returned to school and struggled at first, but she was soon achieving at the top of her class.

She will graduate next week with high honors and a 4.2 GPA.

Ana is grateful to her parents for everything they gave up to give her opportunities in America.

"They haven't given up on me. Even after I made the decision that I made," Ana said.

She plans to pursue an associate's degree program next year, and eventually become a dentist or dental hygienist.

Boone added, "She is another world changer that we're going to be graduating soon. The world's going to be impacted for the better because Ana came back."

Her thoughts to anyone struggling in school or who has already dropped out? "Sometimes we make the wrong decisions. But you can get back on track just like I did."

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