Milwaukee Choice Program
I have been going to a choice school for all of my life. For my middle school years, I attended St. Marcus Lutheran School. Currently, I am a rising junior at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.
At St. Marcus, I evolved and developed as a young leader in the community and society. I have been invited to go on Discover America trips. I have been invited to do internships, including an internship with Marquette University for their summer law program.
Initially, my mom made the decision for me to attend private school. She wanted me to have an awesome education where I was able to grow and learn in my faith and academically. As I got older, around fourth grade, she let me decide if I wanted to stay in a private school or transfer to a public school. I chose to stay in private school. Going to my school helped me develop into a better person.
One reason St. Marcus was unique is because the teachers were really committed and wanted us to be successful. I went to school in an urban area, so it wasn’t always likely you would hear success stories coming from a low income school. One of the goals at St. Marcus was to make sure we became success stories and to make sure we were prepared to succeed in high school. We had a lot of opportunities that aren’t available to all students.
“One of the goals at St. Marcus was to make sure we became success stories”
In my current school, we have a corporate work study program. That means one day a week we go out into the workforce. In my freshman year, I interned at a law firm. That was an awesome opportunity that doesn’t come around every day. And you can put that on a resume or application for college. That’s an opportunity gifted to us that sometimes adults don’t even have. And that experience helped me decide that I want to study law and become a criminal defense lawyer.
This year, I’m interning at Hatch Staffing Services. I work there for two days out of the week. We basically help place people in jobs. We have employer clients and candidates who come in and apply for jobs. We help set those candidates up for success in the world. It’s a really good work environment and the people really want to see you grow.
After high school I want to go to either Columbia University or Georgetown University. If I stay in Wisconsin, I plan to go to Marquette University. But Georgetown has a very good law program. They are very rigorous and one of the best in the country. They challenge you to be the best you can be, which I think is good.
School choice gives low income students the opportunity to have an education that they may not otherwise be able to afford. That’s important because it gives everyone a fair opportunity to learn. Without choice, education would not be fair. You often hear about how students are unable to get the right education, or how if you go to a certain school you won’t be as well off. And being an underdog in terms of opportunity you’re born into, if given the chance to go to a choice school, you can come out on top and show that all of the hard work is worth it. You can prove that you’re capable of the same things as kids from higher income families.