Hello friend, family, and passers-by,
Daily, I am part of the national movement to reform education in America. As an Americorps National Teaching Fellow, with Citizen Schools here in Santa Fe, I work in a low achieving school, helping to run a college access, leadership development, and academic support program for outstanding middle school students.
Here at Citizen Schools, we call it 8th Grade Academy, and it's a place for motivated and ambitious young people to gain the skills they need to succeed in high school and college.
Through Citizen Schools, our students get extra help in math and gain real-life experience in subjects such as geography and GPS, film making, computer programming, event planning, and self-defense.
Here's a story about one of my standout students, Amanda:
Prior to middle school, Amanda was not a particulary good student. According to her mother, she almost did not pass fourth grade, and she struggled to hit her stride coming into middle school. Once at De Vargas, however, Amanda's outlook changed dramatically, a transformation that both her and her mother credit to Citizen Schools. Her grades improved dramatically; she was soon making straight A’s. This year, Amanda elected to be in 8th Grade Academy in order to keep the momentum rolling from the previous year and because, in her words, she wanted to “take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to me.”
In 8GA, she has really shone. In college visits and team-building exercises, Amanda has pushed herself to move beyond her good grades and to improve herself as a person. Together with her mother and her team leader, she is starting to look at the limited charter school options that exist in Santa Fe, still with the same attitude of seeking out new opportunities. Furthermore, she is determined to do AVID in High School and has already begun thinking about her career as a social worker or counselor.
Because of her incredible growth, Amanda was asked to be the student speaker at De Vargas’ Fall WOW!, where she delivered the opening benediction in Spanish. Prior to the speech, she told me, she was practically shaking she was so nervous. At the event itself, however, her apprehension never shoed. And, in the front row, her mother and step father were beaming, ecststic to see their daughter seizing the opportunities presented to her.
All of the student in my class have stories like Amanda's. Your donation can help make their continued growth and opportunity a possibility.
Thank you very much,