The Rapidian

Beating the odds: Michael Bates' journey to graduation

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Michael Bates is the first of 23 Class of 2011 GRPS graduates whose stories will be featured here on The Rapidian. Michael's story is one of perseverance, integrity and self discipline.
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Along his unique journey to graduation, Michael Bates learned the importance of perseverance, integrity and self discipline.

Along his unique journey to graduation, Michael Bates learned the importance of perseverance, integrity and self discipline. /Believe 2 Become

 “I didn’t depend on anybody for anything, I had to find it in myself.”

As a kid, Michael Bates stayed with his grandparents most of the time. They were his caregivers, his protectors, his friends. When Michael was in the eighth grade, his grandmother past away. In the years that followed, Michael’s grandfather became ill with dementia and their roles reversed. The young man became the caregiver—his grandfather’s fierce protector and steadfast friend. Michael also took care of his studies, his sports, and himself. A power forward on the Central High School basketball team, he reached a new height of six feet for his senior year, and was looking forward to some serious time on the courts.

Then appendicitis struck. After an emergency appendectomy, Michael was back on the road to health, but basketball could not be part of the journey. Unable to play for his senior season, he was invited to recuperate at the home of his pastor, Troy Evans. Today, his extended family has stepped in to help with his grandfather, allowing Michael to finally focus on his future. His church family is helping him navigate options to study pastoral ministry.

On his unique path to graduation, Michael learned lessons of perseverance, integrity and self discipline. “I had my own drive to do it,” he says. “Just a God-given gift I guess.”


*Contribution from Joe Jones, Believe 2 Become

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Mr. Bates sounds like he would make a great coach if he stayed in the sports world. Good luck to him. Steven

Nice profile. Look forward  to "meeting" more GRPS students and grads on the Rapidian!