When a person is acting defensive or strange, the tendency for most of us is to ignore or avoid them. Besides, why would we bother to interact with someone who clearly didn’t want to socialize and cooperate?
Most of us might believe that this is the best approach to take when dealing with individuals who behave like such. But the following story might change just that, and make us realize that sometimes, these people need us to reach out to them, not the other way around.
Triplets Haley, Sierra, and Kassidy attended Valley High School in Las Vegas, but their actions seemed to indicate that they didn’t really want to be there. They acted as if they were just being forced to go to school.
The Yeckes triplets were defensive towards teachers and authoritative figures in general. They always stuck close together, missed school a lot, and had failing grades.
Despite this delinquent behavior from their students, the school didn’t turn their back on the three young girls. Instead, they introduced them to a program that they think will have a positive impact on their lives – the GEAR UP Program.
The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program, also known as the GEAR UP Program, is a part of the federal Higher Education Act, intended to help low-income students prepare to succeed in post-secondary education.
The program turned out to be successful in transforming the girls’ performance in school. Over time, they were able to reach and maintain a 3.0 GPA, all while taking advanced courses and working at Albertsons grocery store.
As the girls felt more at ease in school and with their teachers, they finally opened up about their true situation, and it was more terrible than anyone could have imagined.
The triplets’ mother passed away when they were just three months old. When they were in 6th grade, their father was sent to prison.
Haley, Sierra, and Kassidy went on to live with their grandmother where they often starved. She didn’t believe in schooling, so the three didn’t go to school until they were 8 years old.
When their dad was released from prison, they moved back in with him. However, their father remained neglectful, often leaving them alone for weeks – even months – at a time. But one frightful event finally removed them from his custody – their home became involved in a shooting while he was gone.
The triplets went on to live with their grandparents who were also negligent – they didn’t provide the girls with any food or clothing. To afford necessities, they took a job at Albertsons and worked hard to balance work and school.
It was difficult to grow up in that kind of situation, but with the help of the people around them and the GEAR UP Program, the three girls were able to graduate high school.
The triplets’ story reached the FOX5 Surprise Squad, and their team decided to step in and make the girls’ high school graduation day even better!
After receiving their diplomas, the girls were pulled aside by Cassandra Jones to give them the surprise of their life.
Albertsons teamed up with the surprise squad and gave each of them $5,000 for their college expenses. Aside from this, each of the girls was also gifted with a 2017 Nissan! Even though they don’t have their driver’s licenses yet, America First Credit Union is paying for a year’s worth of free gas and their car registrations.
The Yeckes triplets truly deserve all of these and so much more! They lived an extremely difficult life, and it is inspiring how they were able to overcome those adversities all on their own. What’s more amazing is that in spite of everything, these girls were able to maintain a positive outlook in life, and now, they are more than ready to pursue the next chapter in their lives.
See more of this story in the video below from Fox5 Las Vegas.