“If you want to get on the right path, the Future Center is the place to go. If you come in with baggage or barriers, start from scratch and don’t hold grudges, and the Future Center will help you start with a clean slate and build you up from that.”
Abigail Moat began her senior year in high school under very dire circumstances. After a falling out with her mother in Kenosha, WI, she was homeless for a short time in 2017. She eventually moved to England to live with her father. But for a number of reasons related to their economic situation and the education system in the United Kingdom, she had to return to the United States. She nearly dropped out of school altogether, but instead found a positive influence in her sister, who she moved in with in La Crosse. Living with her sister, a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student at the time, gave her a fresh perspective. “The whole experience provided a reality check to force me to figure out what I was doing with my life.”
Once in La Crosse, she enrolled at Logan High School and found a strong support network there, which included La Crosse Promise Future Center Advisor Matt Gordy. “I’ve never really liked school until this year. Logan cares about their kids on another level than my old school,” she said. “I used to go out all night and not care about the future. I was going the wrong direction with my intelligence. I would never talk to teachers or seek out resources before. But I knew I needed to do something different. And I knew in order to graduate, I needed a plan. I didn’t really have any goals.”
She met Mr. Gordy after he spoke to her English class. After a number of advising sessions with him, she went from fearing she’d be able to graduate on time to thinking about enrolling in college. “He put me 5 steps ahead of where I thought I would be,” she said. “I needed to think about the future and what I wanted to do.”
By May, she was poised to graduate and looking forward to putting the past behind her. She decided to study international business and real estate and devised a plan to complete general education requirements at Western Technical College before transferring to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. “If you want to get on the right path, the Future Center is the place to go,” she said. “Networking has been big for me, with Mr. Gordy setting up job shadows. And if you come in with baggage or barriers: the Future Center will help you start with a clean slate and build you up from that.”
Unsure of the support she’ll receive from her parents, Abigail feels the pressure of her financial situation. Nevertheless, she has the confidence and a greater awareness of financial resources available to help her—and she knows Mr. Gordy is just a phone call away.
“I’m excited about this whole next step in life. I don’t feel like the first 17 years were good. So I’m looking forward to a better future,” she said. “I’m looking forward to getting my diploma from college. That will be the light at the end of the tunnel for the next couple of years. I feel like nothing can stop me but myself. I have all the credentials and skills to grow as a person. If I can invest in myself and invest in my future, then there’s unlimited opportunities.”
Attending Western Technical College