At 3-years-old I began school and could read fluently. Despite my mother telling my teachers that I could read since I was 2, they refused to believe I could. During class, my teachers would stop me from reading more than a five-word sentence. I even had one teacher that wouldn’t allow me to read in her class at all!
Looking back I can see now that the teachers—before even realizing my potential—had already set expectations for me and what I could and could not do. They were so focused on what they believed I could do that they shunned opportunities for my individual growth. Even though I couldn’t see it, my mom could and she decided to find another type of school for me.
One day my mom was delivering mail at Commerce Bank in Kansas City, where my grandmother worked, and my grandmother’s co-worker mentioned she was enrolling her daughter at University Academy, a public charter school in our neighborhood. After asking a couple of questions, my mother went to the school on 56th and Troost and placed me on the waiting list. Fortunately, University Academy had to relocate—opening up new enrollment—and I was able to enroll in kindergarten and am now in my junior year of high school.
Attending University Academy, a public charter school in my hometown of Kansas City, has shaped me as an individual in more ways than I realize. I’ve been exposed to various colleges, scholarships and study abroad opportunities most kids my age have never heard of. Being at a charter school, gave me the opportunity to study abroad in Italy for a month this past summer!
At University Academy, the learning experience is enhanced by the time teachers take to mold the curriculum to each student. The student-teacher relationship I’ve formed with my teachers is an educational contract. I trust that each of my teachers will help accommodate any questions and concerns I may have, in return for the diligence and dedication shown through my work ethic.
I believe that education is an essential in the foundation of life. What you learn, where you go to school, and the relationships you build now will form your educational backbone and support the years of higher education to come. Going to University Academy has allowed me to attain a firm, intellectual foundation and evolve into a well-rounded student. They’ve not only taught me the basic core values I need in high school, but they’ve also taught me the value of leadership and community service.
Even after graduating, University Academy will always check up on me to see how I’m maintaining, and that alone means the world to me.