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.
To me, a charter school is an educational institution that a school-age child may “choose” to attend so that they may discover new opportunities that will allow them to grow and flourish, either independently or with the guidance of exceptional administrators and highly qualified teachers.
Every morning, I wake up at 5:30 a.m. in order to get ready for school and jump-start my morning commute from Homestead to Doral to begin school at 7:30 a.m. Upon learning of my long commute, people often ask me, “Why do you live so far from school when there are other schools near your house?” Every time I respond with the same answer: “I love coming here every day, and the schools by my house aren’t for me.”
At Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Florida, I am at my home away from home. Every day I feel that I am welcomed with open arms and that I am always in a safe environment. The administrative team takes the time to personally know their students and remind us that they are available if we ever need to see them, whether the reason be personal or academic. For example, the administration would work with me every year to ensure that I could take the rigorous academic courses I requested in addition to Newspaper and Yearbook because they understood how important these classes were to me.
Between Advanced Placement courses and various extracurricular activities, it can be hard at times to make it to all the required meetings and reviews. However, by talking with my teachers, we would work together so that I could meet all my obligations. Simply put, the teachers who I have had over the past seven years at Doral Academy have consistently been supportive in helping me pursue my passion for journalism while also helping me meet the high demands of accelerated coursework.
This kind of personalized attention from both the administrative team and the faculty has permitted me to consistently grow my skills in Newspaper and Yearbook, permitting me to take leadership positions in both publications, as well as to give back to my greater charter school community.
Doral Academy is my passport to the future. It has empowered me with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed both personally and professionally. The teachers and administrators have encouraged me to pursue my passions while still discovering new and different interests.
Therefore, I can wholeheartedly say that I would not change my charter school experience at Doral Academy for anything in the world, because I would not be the independent, self-motivated student I am today without the rigorous curriculum, diverse opportunities for growth, and support of the Doral Academy Charter School family.
Waking up at 5:30 a.m. was well worth the sacrifice, well worth the choice.