See My Success: Former South Intensive Student Turns Life Around, Shares Story

Nine years ago Blake Carter was facing a life that by all accounts was doomed. At age 12 he began smoking, drinking and hanging out late. That behavior led him to handcuffs, being charged as an adult for sexual assault. “I didn’t even know what that was,” Carter says.

Flash forward and 23-year-old Carter stands in front of a room of students enrolled at South Intensive Transition School, a room where he played basketball and ate pizza as a student.  “I changed my life and you can change yours too,” Carter said.

After being put in jail and facing a 45 year sentence at the age of 14, Carter knew, “I’m not supposed to be here.”

With the support of his friends, parents, teachers and football team Carter was given a deal that included house arrest and probation. “My probation officer told me I had a 75 percent change of violating probation,” Carter said. “I told him, ‘I have a 100 chance of becoming a massive success; because that’s my decision.'”

The deal and his determination would allow him to go on to graduate high school, play three sports, earn 38 college credits and earn a 5.2 Honors Point Average.

Now Carter is the founder of Top Tier Entertainment with 170 employees and a graduate of Florida State University.”Nine years ago I was sitting [at South Intensive School],” he told the students. “Don’t let your past, circumstances determine who you become.”

South Intensive Transition School provides a safe learning environment and develops strategies tailored to meet the unique needs of at-risk students, raise the academic achievement of all children, and propel students to become productive, self-sufficient, and socially responsible citizens.

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