Goddard Academy graduate shares advice for students

GODDARD, Kan. (KWCH) A graduate from Goddard Academy is going to Wichita Area Technical College this year for classes, but the road to get there wasn’t easy.

Randall Copeland graduated in May from Goddard Academy.

“I think a lot of kids here thought I was preppy and I had it good, but a lot of them don’t realize that just a couple year ago I was washing my clothes in the bathtub.”

He grew up around drugs and alcohol, his parents were in and out of jail and he didn’t have a steady place to call home.

“I got arrested that summer and I was scared… scared I would end up like my mom and my dad.”

Patricia Brown, a distant family member, didn’t want that to happen either, so her family took him in.

“I think Randall has had to endure more at 17 then some people in their lifetime."

She helped him realize there was more to his future.

“Something we talk about a lot is don’t let your past be who you are now."

Randall chose to start classes at Goddard Academy. Other students told him it was a school for troublemakers.

“It kind of scared me the first year and once I came here for summer school everything was different. Absolutely everything I heard and was told was completely wrong.”

Within a year Randall completed his junior and senior year and started taking college classes.

“I was just determined to prove everyone wrong, I was determined to be my own person.”

Now he has a new goal, to make sure other people know you can change can your future.

“I can say one thing for sure that my perseverance is not going to stop.”