"Your comfort zone will kill you." Not only did this quote push me to implement changes into my everyday life, it also laid in the depths of my memory, resurfacing to be the ego of my personality. At LEAD Academy High School, I was wiggled out of my shell, year by year, week by week, and eventually day by day. I had the pleasure of meeting wonderful people, all of whom taught me a lesson, whether I realized it at that time or not.
For our 2018 Black History program, I was a part of the girl group TLC. Might I add that my role as Chilli consisted of dancing and singing, neither of which I’m proficient in. Gladly, I only had to lip sync. Never in a million years did I imagine myself dancing in front of people and not a mirror. Oh, was I mistaken. All participants paid homage to Black groups, artists, and intellectuals from then and now. It was a celebration of culture that I was honored to be a part of. What I enjoyed most about this was how supportive and dedicated everyone was. This was planned with little prep time and everyone managed to take on their roles, some with multiple, and execute it impressively. Despite my hopelessness, my group and others were there to continuously teach and encourage me. The same spirits carried over to the classrooms and the hallways. The joy and unity that I felt during this time at Lead will always hold a spot on my high school highlights list.
While at LEAD, the atmosphere and vibes felt family like. Families have their ups and downs, but we experienced many successes and failures together. I was allowed to be an individual while being apart of something much larger than myself. “Congratulations to the Class of 2018 for receiving 100 percent acceptance to a four year college or university!” The tradition lived before us and it will continue after us. Our next step is to have 100 percent to and through college. I know I can be apart of that percentage because I was taught that I am fully capable of accomplishing whatever I set my mind to. It was instilled in me and I hope to pass that message on to others.
After graduation, I could genuinely say WE made it. We the Class of 2018. We the teachers. We the learners. We the helpers. We the LEADers. The journey was far from easy, but with help along the way, I completed it. I am now supplied with the tools I need and I am ready to enter a new journey, pushing myself every step of the way. I go on knowing that I will always have a home at LEAD. I will always hold a space in the hearts of the faculty and staff, engraved in the soul of my high school. I have chose to spend the next four years at Centre College, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Sociology/ Anthropology. My choice to study here was filled with contemplation, but it ultimately came down to the correlation of values I saw between Lead and Centre. I know that I am leaving one supportive community behind to join another that will be just as supportive and stimulative. Dear Comfort Zone, you have lost this battle.
This blog is a part of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools' month long celebration of #CharterGrads.