Cala Cross has big plans for herself and for the future of Fort Worth. The recent high school graduate joined Uplift Mighty Preparatory in southeast Fort Worth, Texas, when she was in the seventh grade. “When I arrived at Uplift Mighty, I was regularly earning Cs on my report cards. My teachers and counselors accepted me for who I was and where I was academically, but they also gave me the confidence to achieve more,” Cala explained. “They were patient with me but were also consistent in letting me know that I could reach my goals. By the time I was ready to apply for college, I was easily earning As and Bs!”
“Uplift Mighty not only made me stronger academically, but they also helped me explore my passions and discover new talents. I learned to be confident in all that I do, from the classroom to social activities and sports,” Cala said. “Even when things were stressful, my counselors were there for me with just the right words to help me through and keep me on track.”
Although Cala had been immersed in a college-minded culture since she arrived at Uplift Mighty, when she reached high school, the real work began. With the help of her Road To College counselors, Cala researched colleges that fit her goals, matched her personality, and met her financial needs. She was able to visit a variety of colleges with her school to determine where she felt comfortable. Additionally, Cala worked on her writing skills, scholarship applications and resume.
“Once my senior year arrived, I was ahead of the game and felt prepared to start applying to colleges,” Cala said. “Upon graduation, I knew I was prepared for college, and I was excited for the future, thanks to the support from my teachers and Road To College counselors.” In the fall, Cala will attend Langston University in Oklahoma to major in social work, minor in psychology, and play volleyball.
Upon graduation from college, Cala plans to return to her Fort Worth community to start her own non-profit to mentor and counsel young children. “Hopefully I can inspire other kids to believe college is not only a good idea, but can be a reality,” Cala explained with a smile. “Uplift Mighty has helped me find who I really am, and I hope to be able to pass along that confidence to others.”
Uplift Mighty Preparatory is part of the Uplift Education public charter school network which started in Irving, Texas, in 1996 with one of the first charters granted by the state. In 2018-19, Uplift will have 40 free, public schools on 20 campuses across North Texas serving more than 18,000 scholars in Pre-K- 12th grades. Focused on high-quality, college preparatory education through the International Baccalaureate® (IB) program, Uplift’s approach to education goes beyond academics and focuses on the whole scholar with individualized learning, unmatched college preparation, a strong scholar culture, and connected families.
This blog is a part of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools' month long celebration of #CharterGrads.