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.
Changes are drastic for a lot people, and everyone has a unique way of handling the changes in their life. In my case, I underwent a change I wouldn’t have ever imagined going through. I graduated 5th grade from a district school and was admitted to one of the best charter schools in the area: Doral Academy Middle Preparatory Charter School in Miami, Florida. On that day, I was a new student, and I was scared!
But the one thing this charter school has is friendly people who open their arms to any new student. As I strolled the halls that first year, I asked teachers and older students if they could guide me, and soon enough I got used to all the buildings. But the change was so radical that I started performing poorly in school—and that was not normal for me. I realized that I had to start putting more effort and dedication into my school assignments, so I did just that, and my teachers helped me out. The teachers truly cared and pushed me to do my best and to not give up. They never gave me another option but to go forward and look ahead. My counselors were always in touch whenever they saw something go wrong or when they saw I needed help with a course, because their priority was always to see the students thrive and accomplish amazing things. The faculty has always been friendly, but strict. They make sure that the rules are being applied, but also teach kids to do right by the rules and regulations set for them.
My charter school offers a performing arts program and I have entered in photography program, which has led me to become a better student. I love how I can portray different emotions in a single photograph and release my stress and frustration into art.
Being this busy has taught me time management and how to balance myself, to have not only time for my school assignments but also time for family, friends, and myself. It's not easy, but as I progressed through the years of high school, I learned to make a routine and set priorities. Doral Academy Charter helped me become the person I am now—a better person as a whole, who has learned how to think and manage my own valuable time. People may not know what the difference between a district school and a charter school is, but it truly makes a difference to each student who is preparing for the next step in life: college.