My journey at Christel House Academy, a charter school on the Southside of Indianapolis, began 14 years ago. That’s right. I’ve spent my entire educational career at one school. Of course, I had the opportunity to go to different schools, but my decision to remain at Christel House has without a doubt been one of the best decisions I could have ever made. My experiences here helped me grow and shape me into the man I’m becoming.
Christel House Academy is like no other school. It was founded with four core values in mind: respect, responsibility, integrity, and independence, and our teachers work each day to ensure we live those values, and in my opinion, that’s what sets us apart. I’ve had several personal challenges in my life, but with the help of the teachers at Christel House Academy, I’ve been able to overcome them. One day in school, we had just come back into our classrooms after lunch and I sat down at my table and began crying my eyes out. I was hurt and felt abandoned. All of my classmates saw me crying and came to my rescue. At Christel House Academy we believe it's our responsibility to take care of each other, and that’s exactly what we do every day.
While our teachers hold us to extremely high academic standards, they also make sure we’re taken care of. My teachers even visited my home as a way to get to know me and my family. Also, we don’t have parent-teacher conferences, we actually lead our own conferences. Our teachers are there, but we do all the talking and explaining. We have to be able to explain our strengths and weaknesses in every class in such a way that our parents understand it, and it must be an accurate representation of who we are as students. My mother really appreciates the opportunity to hear me share what I’m learning. It helps her know that I really am being taken care of at Christel House Academy.
As for my future, I know I want to become a registered nurse and look forward to beginning college in the fall. I love helping others, and I think that has been instilled in me while at Christel House. Last summer, I had an opportunity to travel to Swaziland, South Africa with an organization that organizes trips for students. During the trip, we learned about HIV and AIDS in Swaziland. This experience opened my eyes to the world.
I wouldn’t change anything about my high school experience. I learned a lot about myself, how to persevere through challenging circumstances, and the beauty of giving back. I am grateful to my teachers at Christel House Academy, as they have set me on a path to success. I’m excited about what lies ahead.
This month, thousands of high school students will graduate from charter schools across the county. We are so impressed by everything that these students have accomplished and can’t wait to see what the future holds. Check back here every day to see a new charter school graduate in our 30 Days of Grad series. Want to share your story? Join the conversation using #30DaysOfGrad.