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Mitchell High School student overcomes odds and makes school history

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Mitchell High School student is making school history. 

After several setbacks, she's now making up three years of high school in one year. 

Brandy Carrasquillo went from failing every class freshman year and half of sophomore year to doing something that's never been done at Mitchell before.

Carrasquillo grew up in Bronx, New York. She is the youngest of five and the only girl. Her father is in the military, so nine years ago her family moved to Colorado Springs. 

"Since moving here I just haven't really gotten used to it, so I was just always sad," Carrasquillo said. 

That sadness grew even more when she lost one of brothers last year. Carrasquillo said through everything, her parents were never really there for her.

"What's the point in even trying if I don't believe I'm going to succeed?" she said. "I'm just going to fail. I'm going to end up in jail or dead."

But then during her junior year, Carrasquillo said, something clicked. She wanted be better, for her brother. 

"He's my brother and no matter what, he's gone, and I want to make him proud," Carrasquillo said. 

"A lot of students who come from a tough situation, it either makes or breaks them," Mitchell High School Counselor Maria Niichel said. "I love when I get to see a student that it makes them."

Since September, Carrasquillo has been going to school from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, completing 29 credits in one year. On Tuesday, Carrasquillo will receive the diploma she's worked for day and night. 

"There's always hope," Carrasquillo said. "You just have to find it. You can do it. You just have to put your mind to it."    

Next up, Carrasquillo wants to attend Pikes Peak Community College, then move on to a university, studying criminal law. 


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