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Scholarship Essay
I was born in Jersey City, New Jersey raised by my mom, dad, step-dad, and my two brothers. I only live with my step-dad and mother for most of school. When I started school over in jersey my behavior was bad, even when I was in first grade. I had behavior issues in all of my middle school grades. I didn't have good influences there as friends there were bad just like me and they stole, and was never up to good things. In fifth grade l got held back in the same grade. After Igot held back I was still behaving the same way, so my parent decided to move me to a better area which was Pennsylvania. Fifth grade I didn't  care about getting left back. I didn't  care about anything then.

When I moved here in the eighth grade and the school was strict so I got into more trouble than I ever got into before. I would get in trouble  for having my pants below my waist a lot. That is just one thing I got in trouble  for.  I also disrespected teachers and didn't care.  I curse at them and everything. I got mostly in trouble  for little immature things that I did like disrupt the class, and instead of apologize I made the situation worse. l had new friends but they were good and told me to not get in much trouble. But I still did in the eighth and ninth grade suspension and detentions.  Then I found out I was on the way of getting kicked out the school in tenth grade. In tenth grade that's when I got put in the group program which taught me to be a better person and I also became more mature. I still got in trouble in tenth grade with my pants and disrespect. Group really didn't affect me till 11th grade,because I still did what I wanted.
 
Group helped me think about me actions before I do something and also control my attitude and breathe. The situation I have gotten into before with making things escalate was easy for me then. So when little thing happen I didn't make it escalate like I used to.  It also made me stop and think like what if this person is having a bad day. It also made me stay on top of my work so I can graduate with my class and pass all my classes. It helps me to try and get decent grades so my gpa can rise. So the program helped me stay in the school and I got in less trouble and made better choices. My 12th grade year I was more mature and I didn't visit the office as much as before so group definitely help me with my behavior and grades. It also made me into the better person that I am today.

Nomination Letter
by Deanna Moerer

Brian Pless began participating in one of my school-based groups towards the end of his 10th grade year. I would not consider Brian to be one of my highest risk students at the time; however, if he went without any interventions his prognosis would not likely be positive. 

Brian was very reticent to share any personal history and to try any of the skills that were taught. I think he only participated in group because he wanted to get out of class. When he saw how the other students were progressing, he began to take the group seriously and more importantly he began to care about himself and others. Brian began utilizing his skills and worked diligently to decrease his maladaptive behaviors. His reputation began to change amongst teachers and peers, for the better, and he began to thrive.

Brian moved into his 12th grade year with a positive attitude, new skills and an increased self-esteem. He had difficulty maintaining this due to "senioritis" but all in all he has taken great strides in learning to manage his anger, not to retaliate against his teachers/peers and numerous social skills that will set him up to succeed as he moves on with his life.

Brian graduated this past June and will be attending a community college in New Jersey. He has high hopes to go into the medical field.