Chapter One: Who were you?
I was always a pretty shy person and I attended Park School in San Mateo. I always hung out with my best friend Loren and we were inseparable. After school, I would attend an after-school program. It was a homework center and I was there from 3rd to 5th grade. In 3rd grade, I created a bond with the main lady who ran the program and came up with the idea of the center. Her name was Ms. Jill. She would always give me beanie babies and tell me stories about her mom who had the same name as me. Ms. Jill would always remind me that she saw something in me and that I reminded her so much of her mom. That made me happy and I loved hanging out with Ms. Jill. Sadly, Ms. Jill passed away around the end of 4th grade. The center was never the same. I would miss her hugging me and just the small talk I would have with her. Around the end of my 5th grade, we had our new leader and her son attended a school called SI. She would encourage me and many others to apply to a middle school that was connected to SI. At first, when I told my mom about it, she wasn’t so sure of me attending because she knew it was far away and my dad was always working so she knew I wouldn’t have a ride. I told my friend Loren about it, and she told her mom. Eventually, I was able to convince my mom to let us consider the school, and soon both of us were applying! I was excited but sad that I was going to leave all the memories and cool teachers at my elementary school, but I was also ready for something new. Months later, our class had a fun end of the year field trip to Sky High, but Loren, another boy from my class, and I were not able to go because we had a “Shadow Day,” in which the people who applied had a chance to get to know the teachers and the scholars. Once I got home, I told my two sisters Arual and Itzel all about what I did and how much fun it was. I think I might have gone overboard because they seemed pretty annoyed. That same day, I realized how different FSA is going to be, but I was ready for any challenge that came my way.
Chapter Two: How have you grown as a scholar?
I was never the best reader in my class. In elementary school, I felt like teachers never really focused on the students who knew they needed some extra help. That made me feel less special and I sort of lost hope. When we would do science, it wasn’t engaging and we would read unamusing text, and then we would be tested. I always heard stories of people from other schools doing experiments like erupting volcanoes and helping butterflies get out of their cocoons. Those kinds of things were amusing to me and I loved learning about animals. Going into my first day at FSA, I was pretty prepared to have the usual “boring” classes like Math and Science. But that same day after breakfast, I took a look at the schedule and we had some classes I have never heard of before like “ Wellness” and “Elective”. I was pretty confused about what those classes were going to be about. But I just had to find out after math class. I dreaded math so I wasn’t excited for my first class. But when it started, it was actually pretty fun and my teacher at the time, called Ms. Smith, made sure everyone would get the lesson we learned before we did homework. Later that day, we had science with Mr. G and we watched Bill Nye the Science Guy. We had a textbook reading but it was more engaging and fun. Now, in 8th grade, I really like the classes we take and I feel prepared for high school. The teachers focus on the students and make sure they are doing the best they can do.
Chapter Three: How have you grown as a person?
I have seen many areas in my personal growth. I am less shy and more open to trying out new things. I also got more engaged in sports during my 7th-grade year. In 7th grade, our class won the Girls Volleyball Championship. I have also grown as a friend. I learned that sometimes I can be wrong and I need to accept it. As a person in the community, I became more aware of the people around me and how I can help them. As a sister, I really learned that sometimes I need to stop annoying my other siblings. August 2018 for me was just getting used to a new school community and getting to learn the new rules. In my 7th grade year, I wasn’t really fully focused on school and how important it was. But now, in 2021, I have seen the importance of trying my best in all parts of my life and I am getting ready for the change to SI. Let's just say this whole year was much different because of COVID, but it also made me realize that anything is possible even if there is a nationwide pandemic going on.