St. Ignatius
Fernando

Chapter One: Who were you?
Before I went to Father Sauer Academy, I wasn’t the best student. Academically, I did ok, but in class, I was easily distracted. I would always get in trouble for talking during class or fooling around. Since my school was K-8, I was planning on staying there for middle school as well. However, one day, my mom’s mom called my mom and asked her if she had sent an application for me for Father Sauer Academy. My mom didn’t know about Father Sauer Academy and neither did I. I only knew about SI, but I didn’t know that they had opened an academy for middle school students like me. I had only heard very good things about the school so when my mom asked me if I wanted to apply for the Academy, without hesitation I said yes. My fifth grade teacher helped me change. She told me how important education was, so I listened to her advice. By the last semester of fifth grade, I was proud of who I was in class. When I got my acceptance letter for Father Sauer Academy, I was overjoyed and knew that this was going to be an adventure.  

Chapter Two: How have you grown as a scholar?
Before I got to FAther Sauer Academy, I had a hard time with ELA. When Mr.G was our ELA teacher, he would always assign a lot of ELA skills on IXL, a computer program. The IXL wasn’t easy at all. Even though the IXL was really hard to do, I persisted. I would stay in for recess and ask Mr. G to help me or explain what I had to do. After he was done helping me, I understood what I had to do. The whole class became much easier for me. I started to see my assignments differently and learned from my mistakes. I did my homework with ease and no difficulty. To this day, I still need help with my assignments sometimes, but I am able to understand what to do thanks to my teachers. 

On the other hand, I was always pretty good at math. I never had big trouble with anything in that class. I achieved my success by always doing practice problems. Even though I did have times when I needed help. I would ask my math teacher to explain the equation or whatever the topic was. I would try doing some practice problems with my peers to see how they understood it compared to how I did. I still sometimes have trouble with math, but luckily I have my math teacher and classmates at my side to help me get through the trouble I have.

Chapter Three: How have you grown as a person?
In 6th grade, I was timid. I was scared to use my voice and to talk to people older than me. With online school starting in the middle of 6th grade, I didn’t really have a social life. I would only say Hi to people and was really bad with having a conversation with someone. I would get really nervous and would always try to get out of conversations. All I would do was play video games all day, which was basically my only form of social interaction. I was only confident having conversations in video games in the lobbies. In seventh grade, when we started to go to school in person again, I started to talk to more people. I had more friends and also socialized outside of school. I wasn’t scared to talk to people or do anything outside of school. The Father Sauer Academy made a safe and welcoming environment for me.

Chapter Four: What are your talents/passions?
My family is the most important thing to me. My family is always there for me whenever I need them to be. They take care of me and make sure that I’m ok. Family is what made me connect to soccer, which is where I find my happiness. When I was 8 years old, I fell in love with the sport. I like everything about it. I like the commentary, the teams, and the players. My idol is Lionel Messi. I learned teamwork from soccer. I learned to have good communication with my teammates. Some of my favorite memories in soccer are meeting  new people. Soccer helped me socialize and meet new people and great friends. Those friendships have taught me many things about life and the sport.

Chapter Five: What does it all mean for your family?
When I spoke to my mom, it was clear that my success means a lot to her. She’d be really happy if I reach my goals because she knows that I have always wanted to go to SI. She also said that when she was coming to the U.S, she thought that she wanted her kids to have a limitless future and go to a good school. Additionally, it would mean the world to her if all three of my siblings, including me, would get degrees because she never had the opportunity to go to college. To me, success means accomplishing some sort of aim or purpose. It involves going through many obstacles and challenges until you reach your goal, but the struggle is the part where you learn. 

Chapter Six: Who do you want to be?
I want to enhance myself in many ways and areas. The two things I want to get better at are my academics and soccer. No matter what  challenges I face in high school, I plan to persist and do my best to get through it. I know that there's going to be many obstacles or things that are going to hold me back, but I won’t let it get in the way of me being the best studentI can be. I plan to do the same thing with soccer. I know that there will always be people who don’t believe in me, but I won’t let that stop me from following my dreams as a soccer player. I also know that there will always be many risks. For example, career ending injuries can happen. I believe that SI can help me get better and give me many opportunities to accomplish my childhood dreams and make my parents proud.