"Be Our Own Cheerleaders" – KS

I will be attending McKinley Tech in the fall.

Being a teenage girl in this day and time definitely means I have dealt with my fair share of ups and downs. I’ve also moved around quite often and getting adjusted to new settings is always a difficult process. For example, when I first started at Excel Academy, I was in the 6th grade and my family and I moved from Maryland to D.C. I was a little excited to be starting at a new school but Maryland and Washington D.C. are very different in my perspective. Excel was a new setting for me because it is an all girls school. Prior to starting school, I assumed that Excel would be a fun place to be because I would be surrounded by people who were just like me. However, given that I am very honest with myself, I am aware that I have an attitude that takes a while to get adjusted to, I was very nervous about how people would perceive me.

My first year at Excel was full of ups and downs, I gained new friends, lost a few friends, and I even got into some trouble. I was so nervous that my next two years at Excel would be full of drama and chaos and I just didn’t know how to avoid it. However, time flew by rather quickly, before I knew it, I was in the 8th grade. This year, I spent loads of time prepping for high school and learning about all of the different high school programs that are offered in the District. As I was getting ready for the next phase of my academic journey, our school seemed to be falling apart. We lost so many teachers in the first half of the school year -- including our science, art, social studies, math, and even our technology teacher. I thought this was a sign as to how bad our school year was going to be.

Then, a great person came into my life named NiLa Austin, she’d have a fit if she knew I called her by first name so, we will just call her Ms. Austin. I think...no wait, I KNOW she will always be a very important person in my life, even if we don't see each other everyday, she will always hold a special place in my heart. She and I both know that without her, I probably would still be the same immature K*****. She encouraged, sometimes even forced me, to grow and I appreciate her for that. She created a whole high school prep program from scratch. We literally had high school information sessions each week, we met almost every high school representative in the District. We took tours of dozens of high schools, we learned how to code switch and how to properly conduct ourselves in front of different audiences and all of this was just ONE of her jobs. Ms. Austin did a lot for an entire grade level in such a short period of time but she prepared us to be our own cheerleaders, so that we can continue to blossom towards success. This year, I tried to master the art of time management, I am still working on perfecting it. I know that being able to prioritize my time will ensure my future success.  

After high school, I plan on going to college but I am not exactly sure which university I’d like to attend yet. One thing I know for sure, I can call Ms. Austin and she will definitely provide me with any tools and tips that I need to make sure that I make the best possible choice. I still have a lot of growing, developing, and maturing to do but I am definitely not the same girl that I was when I entered the 8th grade. A word of advice that I’d like to leave with my fellow scholars is learn to master the art of time management because time will fly by so quickly and you definitely want to be able to see the fruits of your labor. I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes and it goes, “Do it for the people that want to see you fail.”

– KS