SAN ANTONIO - Betty Stout will not only be an international baccalaureate graduate this year at Clemens High School, she's also finishing at the top of her class.
Veronica Riordan, who is the senior international baccalaureate coordinator, said Stout's hard work is almost contagious.
Riordan said Stout is passionate, focused and disciplined and that has her classmates working harder as well.
"For an international baccalaureate student, there's already a lot of pressure," said Riordan. "They have to do all this coursework. They don't just pick and choose. There are all these other expectations on top of them, and she carries herself through, and everything she does, she does to the best of her ability."
Stout is already making plans to attend the University of Houston to pursue a business degree. Stout said with her degree, she plans on opening up her own shop to employ and help victims of domestic violence.
Stout said she has had to live in a domestic violence shelter and knows the challenges these women face.
"It's hard for those women to become stabilized again, and a lot of times even going into regular work environments can be difficult for them," said Stout. "I don't think, had I received help or my family received help ... that we wouldn't have been able to get back on our feet."
Stout's dad is incarcerated, and her mother lives out of state. Right now, she currently lives with her sister, but she is looking forward to moving to Houston.
"I want to be able to be stable and in control of my own future," said Stout. "Not have to be pushed by someone else's whims."
Stout is also dealing with some medical issues, including "snapping hip syndrome."
"It could just be severe rheumatoid arthritis, but I have a lot of other stuff that accompanies it ... that's not traditional with arthritis," said Stout. "I have something called snapping hip syndrome. It sometimes doesn't bother me at all, but sometimes it makes it difficult to walk."
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