I attended Explorations Charter School, where I had to make the transformation from childhood into adulthood at an early age. Most people spend their high school years at parties, going out, or having fun with friends. I did not. My freshman year was like that, normal, but then everything changed in my sophomore year. At the beginning of that year, I became pregnant. I was sixteen at the time. I stayed in school until the very day I had my son in May. I did not want to fall behind in my school work. I spent May and June of that year taking care of my newborn while also trying to keep up with my school assignments from home. It was one of the most challenging things I have ever experienced. While I was working hard, I felt as though I had no choice because I was a parent.
I did well my sophomore year and moved on to the eleventh grade. That year was exceptionally hard for me. I would wake up early and care for my baby and then go to school. When I returned, I had the baby to take care of and my school work to complete. It was a never ending cycle of responsibility. I somehow managed to also attend a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class during the last three months of that year. I passed my CNA exam and my junior year all while raising my son. There was no time for hanging out with friends, no parties, no slacking, but just enough sleep to get by.
I am a good student and a good self-learner, but I don’t know what I would do without my teachers and their help. Explorations Charter School means everything to me. These teachers are amazing and they go above and beyond– my English teacher Carrie taught me how to drive so I could get my license. She helped me with college recommendation letters. My social studies teacher pushed me to work toward a scholarship. I don’t know what I would do without them. This school means a lot. It makes me nervous when they talk about school funding and how we never have enough... I want my sister to go here. I want other kids to have the opportunity I did.
My hard work paid off. I received the Presidential Award scholarship to UConn–one of just two students in the school to receive it. The scholarship will provide free tuition for four years so that I can study biology, chemistry, and everything else necessary to become a nurse.
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.