Stories and Impact

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Charter schools around the country are changing lives every day. At any given time, a charter school student is meeting the teacher that will change her life, and a teacher is meeting the student who will change his.

Hear from the students, teachers, and parents who are choosing charters. And learn how charter public education is reimagining education one school, one classroom, one student at a time.

City on a Hill Charter Public School

My name is Sandy Dessources and last year I graduated from City on a Hill Charter Public School in Boston, Massachusetts. It's my dream to become an attorney - I want to spend my career fighting to eliminate the systemic obstacles facing women. In order to fully understand where my dreams come from and how I plan to get there, I’d like to tell you a bit about myself. My family is from the island of Hispaniola, more formally known as Haiti. When we arrived in America, my parents could not speak, read, or write in English. My father had to work three jobs in order to make ends meet. But they were determined to give me the opportunity to get a strong education. Walking through the doors at City on a Hill for the first time, I was in total awe. At City on a Hill, I have learned many things—core academic subjects like Spanish, civics, English, and statistics, as well as equally important life skills such as professionalism, public speaking, and leadership. Last year on National College Decision Day, I chose between attending four incredible schools—American University, Brandeis University, College of the Holy Cross, and George Washington University! 

Sandy Dessources, Graduate

Capital City Public Charter School

“I feel like being a student with a learning disability, the school really helps accommodate you and it doesn’t neglect what problems you might have. I used to believe that I wasn’t really good at anything. But the teachers here taught me that all I really need to do is try to do my best, and I’ll be able to achieve whatever I really want to do. I’m hoping to go to college and get a bachelor degree in aerospace engineering.”

Fred Chopin, Student

IDEA Quest Academy

When I look back on my upbringing, I feel very fortunate to say that I’ll be attending Brown University this fall to become a doctor, because it was not an easy road. I was raised by my grandparents, who were both migrant workers, in a small house we’d built ourselves, without a bedroom. There were five of us total in that little house, so there wasn’t much peace and quiet. Every night, we ate the same thing—beans and rice. I joined IDEA Quest when I was in 7th grade and they made me work really, really hard. I studied, I met with my teachers, and I passed 11 AP classes. While I’m so honored to share part of my story with you, I want you to know that I am not alone in what IDEA has done for me. In fact, my graduating class of nearly 600 seniors, including many like me who may come from humble backgrounds, are going to college and are looking forward to bright futures so we can make our families proud.

Michael Mireles, Graduate

Haas Hall Academy

Haas Hall Academy, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, offers an accelerated learning model for scholars seeking a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. Its mission is “to provide an aggressive alternative to the traditional learning environment for scholars with high intensity of purpose, enabling them to succeed at the nation’s prestigious universities and to become pillars of their communities.” The school is structured like a university and this captures the college-centric atmosphere of its city, which is home to the University of Arkansas. Its semester-based, block-scheduled courses mean that one instructional day at Haas Hall Academy is equivalent to about two traditional school days.