BELTON, Texas (KWTX) One of the graduating Super Seniors whom KWTX is celebrating this week took an extraordinary 1,200-mile leap of faith and landed at Belton High School.
Jaci Cauble. (Photo by Chelsea Edwards)
“It was a new experience,” says Jaci Cauble.
“I've never done that before…never moved anywhere especially this far away.”
Jaci was living with her mother in North Carolina when in 2017 she saw a path to a better life.
She moved halfway across the country, settled in with her older brother who is stationed at Fort Hood and enrolled at Belton High with hopes that her mother would follow.
“Most people don't do that right before they go into their last two years of high school,” she said.
Her mother’s job transfer didn’t’ come through, however, and that dashed Jaci’s hopes of having her nearby.
“It's been hard because everyone wants to have their mom around,” says Cauble.
Without a permanent residence and legal guardian, Jaci was categorized as "homeless” by the district.
But found a place to belong and the bump in support she needed through her volleyball team.
“She's just a great kid,” says volleyball coach Jordan Petter.
“She has this energy about her, this demeanor that draws people in.”
Her coach has stepped into a familial role, encouraging and pushing Jaci as she took on AP and dual credit courses through Temple College, as well as certification classes.
"She's very independent and I wouldn't want her to take any of that away from her," Petter said.
Once she passes exams, Jaci will be eligible to work as a pharmacy tech and pay her way through Tarleton State University.
She plans to eventually become a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse.
“It's so hard to meet new people and make new friends in a new place and to trust people,” she said.
“But I think that it's worth it in the end. I think that taking a leap of faith is something good, and it shouldn't be something that holds you back.”