Tell us about your time as a student with STRIVE Prep. What school(s) did you go to and what years?
I attended the STRIVE Prep Highland campus from 2010-2013. During its first year of only 6th grade, the school was in a tiny little building off of Federal and Speer. It eventually moved to the Science 1913 building at North High School. However, after my eighth grade year, the Highland campus became the Sunnyside middle school instead, so I attended the Highland campus for the only three years that it existed!! The 1913 building was used for the Excel High school which I attended from 2013-2017 and graduated salutatorian. Unfortunately the Excel campus has since closed.
How does it feel to be back as a teacher this time?
It feels amazing to be teaching in the same network I attended as a student! I am super proud of my time as a student. I notice that the network made a lot of changes in the three years I was in college and was not involved with it. Many of those changes are geared towards helping students who don’t want to attend college to have successful post secondary careers, which is amazing, because as amazing as college is, it is not the only road to success.
What is your favorite memory at STRIVE Prep?
My favorite memories of STRIVE Prep were my choir concerts with Mrs. Lucero at Excel. I learned so much from her and developed immeasurably as a musician. At my final concert, I was awarded a very generous and amazing Music scholarship which I used to attend Regis where I minored in music.
What are some of the most important values you learned at STRIVE Prep that you want to make sure you pass on to your current students?
The most important of the STRIVE values to me is effort. Effort is usually always the key to success. My time at STRIVE helped me develop into a very determined and efficient student. That is an attitude I have carried with me into my professional life. I find that since my Senior year of high school, my life has been on a solid and beautiful climb upward. Every year, something new has happened and opened a new door in my life, due in large part to just working hard and relentlessly. That is not to say that there have no been massive challenges in the last few years. They have! However, I feel so developed in my ability to exhibit effort that I can overcome them.
What are you most looking forward to this school year?
I’m most looking forward to developing relationships with students. My favorite teachers at STRIVE Prep were the ones that made a constant and authentic effort to develop relationships with students, even students as weird and old-souled as me!
What animal do you most identify with and why?
I think I most identify with cats because they are opportunistic but also sweet. (At least my cats are anyway.) I value personal relationships but I’m also very competitive!
Anything else you want to add?
I want to add that STRIVE Prep is the reason I am working at STRIVE Prep. The course of my life since I graduated high school has been almost completely determined by my experiences as a student and the values I learned. Furthermore, I so enjoyed my time as a student and so believe in the mission of the network that I consider it a privilege to be back as a teacher!