Steinbrenner High student makes the most of his second chance

By Dalia Dangerfield, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Steinbrenner High senior in Tampa is ready to serve his country. 

  • Struggling student turned around his struggles
  • Mason Young graduating this month from Tampa's Steinbrenner High
  • Plans to pursue a career in the military
  • BN9 education resources

But he wasn't exacly always ready to graduate. 

Slowly and surely, Mason Young turned his life around. 

"I liked going to school but I didn’t like to work," Young said. "Because there was a lot of home problems and a lot of issues at home to deal with so my mind wasn’t focused on school."

Young was angry and it showed it with his grades - C's and D's. And even a F are two. Still early in his Steinbrenner experience, he was already off track for graduation. 

That's when he found track and field.

"I was around all of the other kids on the team and they’re all like really smart and intelligent and they all are into the school," Young said. "I looked and said, 'Hey I want to be like them'  I want to get my school work done."  

That's when Young joined the track team and made a dash towards his school finish line. And he got a lot of help along the way. 

"He was struggling with math and asked what kids could help him with math," said Steinbrenner track coach Brandon Lingerfelt. "And he was coming to us for the help which I thought was something unique."

Unique or not, it worked. Young reversed course, got his grades on track and is graduating this month. Now he is focusing on joining the military. 

Young said a career of military service would give him the structure in his adult life he did not have growing up. 

"I get to go out in the open world (now)," Young said with a laugh.