This month, beginning with National Charter Schools Week, we will feature stories from charter school graduates from across the country. Check back every day to see a new student feature in our 30 Days of Grad series.
I never imagined that I would go from attending the Chicago Math and Science Academy (CMSA) to Brown University in seven short years. When I began attending CMSA in the 6th grade, I had just gotten out of an abusive home environment and had massive amounts of anxiety about being in a new school and making friends. However, I soon realized that I had nothing to worry about. On my first day at CMSA, I was welcomed into a friendly and enriching environment where everyone wanted to see me succeed, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.
When I entered high school, I once again began to feel anxious, but this time about college admissions and my future. Thankfully, I was surrounded by many mentors at CMSA who continuously provided support and pushed me to live up to my fullest potential. For example, Ms. Rodriguez, my Biology teacher, helped me realize that I wanted to attend medical school in the future and pushed me to apply to many of the top schools in the country. If it wasn’t for her, I probably would have limited my options.
I owe my acceptance to Brown University to CMSA and my teachers and college counselor who helped me every step of the way. I don’t think I would have reached my full potential, as I did at CMSA, had I attended another public high school and perhaps drowned in a large student population. I hope that many more kids can benefit from the amazing teachers and administration at schools like CMSA like I did. Their small classes and individualized support helped me get to where I am today, and for that I am forever grateful.