St. Ignatius
Kiyoka

As a child, I always was a bubbly person. I loved making people laugh, and laughing myself. I also loved to travel. It has always been a dream of mine to travel all across the world, because I’ve always been so interested in all the beautiful places I would see on tv and in magazines. School was something I always looked forward to, even though I didn’t really pay attention much. It was so exciting to see my friends everyday and have fun. Even though it was hard for me to pay attention when I was in school, my favorite subject was ELA. I loved learning new words and reading various books. I remember my favorite book being The Secret Garden. I read it over and over again, because it was one of those books that was just so interesting you could not get tired of reading it. I started getting into poems after that. I remember writing my first poem and I was so in love with it. I never really told anyone that I loved to do things like that and it just became something I would do by myself if I wasn’t feeling well or if I simply just wanted to. I think doing this turned on the creative part of my personality and shaped me into who I am now. 

One parent teacher conference I remember very vividly was my 5th grade one. When I went to it with my mom, I was overly excited to hear what my teacher had to say about me and my grades. It went very well. My teacher saved some time for us to talk about middle school. She introduced the Fr. Sauer Academy to me and my mom, and I was very overwhelmed. At first I said that I didn’t want to go. I remember vividly telling my mom and teacher that I wasn’t interested in going. I guess I was just stuck, because I wanted to attend the same school as my friends. Thankfully, my mom looked into applying to FSA, and I started my journey. 

Throughout elementary school, I never was the best at math. I really struggled with it and never seemed to understand the concepts we were learning until we moved on to the next. Then, the cycle started again. I kept trying to understand what we were learning, but continued to struggle. When I got accepted to FSA and started 6th grade, I really had trouble understanding the material. For example, the whole module about ratios never clicked for me. However, as I practiced, it all started coming to me and I got better and better and started understanding what I was learning in class.  I vividly remember getting back a math test. I wasn’t sure if I did well or if I did terribly on it, so I was just waiting until I got it back. When I was handed my test, I looked through it and saw that on each page there was a 3, which meant meeting expectations. The amount of joy I felt while flipping the pages was immense. Then, at that moment, I knew I grew academically.

Religion wasn’t something that I learned in the other schools before FSA. At first, I was questioning our religion class. It was something new that I didn’t think I needed to learn at school, but I was wrong. Learning new prayers and hearing about various bible stories, made me more interested in learning more. All of the prayer services my class attended made me feel closer to God and that is something I’m very grateful for.