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‘I didn’t want to go back to what I was before’

Kara Leiterman

Wednesday May 15, 2019
NWTC- Marinette Grad goes from behind bars to commencement speaker

For soon-to-be Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC)-Marinette graduate Shannon Flores, the road to college took a few detours.
 
“I had a rough start as a kid,” Flores said.DSCN5256-1.JPG
 
The California native dropped out of high school in ninth grade and had her first son at age 19.
 
“I was working as a manager at a pizza company, all while I was stealing cars, “ Flores said. “I didn’t care about anything or didn’t care about anybody.”
 
After having her second son and going back behind bars, Flores decided it was time to change and provide good life for her family.
 
“I was 35 when I got my GED,” Flores said. “When I got that GED, I did it on my own. That gave me a new self-respect, accomplishment and drive. I didn’t want to go back to what I was before.“
 
Flores moved to Menominee, Mich. after her second release from jail and changed her course.
 
“One of the first things I did when I came out here was enroll at NWTC,” Flores said.
 
She started in the Business Management, but decided manufacturing was the industry for her. Flores switched to the CNC program.
 
“It turns out I really enjoyed it and things went up from there,” she added.
 
Now two years later,  Flores is the student commencement speaker at NWTC- Marinette graduation on Thursday, May 16, 2019.
 
She is hoping others hear her story and know never to give up.
 
“Maybe it will let others know what I have been through. Anyone can walk the path to success. Everyone is going to go through hard times, you can’t let that discourage you,” Flores said.
She said NWTC was the best choice for her. Her path continues on to a job waiting for her after graduation.
Her oldest son is enrolled at NWTC- Marinette and set to begin the CNC program in the fall.
 
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