STRIVE Prep – Excel
Like many of our seniors, Stephanie is looking forward to Senior Signing Day on May 3. For her, she is especially excited to share her college of choice, where she hopes to study nursing, with her parents.
“I’m going to be a first generation college student in my family, and my mom’s birthday is on Senior Signing Day, so I haven’t told my parents at all where I’ll be going because I want it to be her birthday gift this year.”
Being a part of the STRIVE Prep community for seven years is what helped Stephanie realize that she feels her best when she is bettering the community around her, it’s why she wants to become a nurse, and why she’s so thrilled to be giving back to her parents on Senior Signing Day. Read more about her experience at STRIVE Prep, and how our core values supported her on the path to a thriving future that she chose for herself.
What relationships has STRIVE Prep brought you that have changed your life?
I think my best friend, classmate, and cousin Sandra has helped me push myself. We have always been close and when I got to high school she was the one who helped me realize that I can do anything. She’s a senior too and I’m excited to graduate alongside her.
As for teachers, Ms. Husbands, even though she is newer to STRIVE Prep – Excel, has always been a support system for us students, I look at her like a mom. Also, Ms. Heatherly, my math teacher, I always felt safe and welcome in her class.
Outside of the classroom, what have your peers and your school community taught you?
They’ve taught me to always look at things in a positive way, not a negative way. If something bad happens, it’s to teach you something about life. I’ve learned that not everyone is the same as you. You need to be patient and understanding of their story and where they came from and treat everyone the way you want to be treated.
Where do you see yourself in the context of today’s social issues?
Honestly, I see myself as someone who needs to take a stand. I need to speak up for those who are scared. I want to always be looked at as a supporter and someone who is there for everyone. Being able to support the students in our school through things like the DACA walkout made me happy because I know it’s the right thing to do for my people.
What classes have challenged you most at STRIVE Prep?
My favorite classes are always math and science. I’m currently taking AP Biology and even though it’s my favorite class, it’s challenging. I appreciate Mr. Long because he asked us what we need to be successful in the class and supports us with study guides.
How do you feel prepared to take on what’s next in life?
Because I want to become a nurse, obviously my science classes have prepared me for college. But the biggest help for me been learning more about public speaking. I’m a shy person and don’t like to talk in front of a crowd and learning that skill in high school has helped me learn to sound more professional and ready to advocate and talk to anyone, which I know I’ll need in college. Going to this school has taught me a lot of what it will be like to be in college.
How do you approach taking risks and rising to challenges?
I’ve always approached things with fear, but inside me I know the things that scare me are the most important things that need to get done. I know I can do anything and that accomplishing a challenge will make me feel better.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I see myself working as a nurse or as a biomedical engineer. I know I have a lot to grow through and that I’ll push myself through all the studying and working in college.
What advice do you have for the younger STRIVE Prep students
Something I wish I had done differently at the beginning of high school was spending more time being involved. A lot of scholarships ask for community involvement and I wish I had more to show for it, because it matters to colleges. My biggest advice is to always keep going even when it gets hard. There’s always someone in this building who is supporting you, make sure you find them.