As an avowed addict of NPR, I love the StoryCorps series every Friday morning. Often the stories make me laugh, sometimes I fight back tears, but mostly I sit back and appreciate the way that StoryCorps provides everyday people the chance to tell their own poignant stories, stories that resonate so broadly. The story this morning was a conversation between an alumnus of North Lawndale College Prep, a charter school in Chicago, and the dean of the school when she attended. Tierra Jackson talks about her struggles in high school as a homeless teenager. When she opened up to the teachers and staff at North Lawndale, they created a support network to help her succeed. She is now a junior at Roosevelt University. In Tierra’s own words, “There's so many people who could, you know, be the next Bill Gates and change the world. But because they're poor or they're living in poverty, they're instantly written off because no one thinks they'll make it. I just want to make it." Tierra’s high school, like so many other charter schools setting high expectations for students, believed in her and didn’t let her fall through the cracks. At the start of the new school year, this story truly resonates as 6,000 charter schools work to make sure that every student reaches their potential.
Image: Tierra Jackson talks to John Horan, the president of her high school. Image via StoryCorps webpage.