Class of 2023

How is the high school application process going?
So it’s everywhere. Right now I’ve been accepted to Chicago Hope Academy. I’ve been accepted for the Daniel Murphy Scholarship.

Oh my gosh, that’s amazing! Congratulations! What’s it like being a leader at CJA?
I think it feels good to have that role, even though it is hard at times. It helps me look into the teacher’s perspective. Not in the teaching role, but in leading the kids and being a role model. It’s definitely hard. That’s why I like to say thank you to the teachers. There are positives because you get to see kids mature in a couple of years, and you get to see how they react in a positive way. And then it just feels good to know that you have some type of impact, a positive impact on kids’ lives, and even my peers.

How do you think you’ve grown in your time at CJA?
I think I’ve grown a lot. And teachers remind me every day, especially the ones that I’ve had or that have been here for multiple years: Mr. Carroll and Mr. Rathke. Mr. Rathke kind of helped me blossom into more of a gentleman like I am now. I say that because he kept me in check. He held me accountable and was able to redirect me in a positive way. And now I’m in my eighth grade year. The time went by quickly.

What about academically?
Of course. I still have a way to go, but I think I’ve grown a lot. In fourth grade, I wasn’t understanding Math, but now I’m in Arrupe (eighth-grade cohort), and we’re doing ninth- and tenth-grade Math. So to see myself being successful in that, it was a real shocker to me. To see the growth, and to see what I am capable of.

Sometimes you grow the most when you’re being challenged.
It always comes down to asking for help. That’s something I had to learn. This year, I’m asking as many questions as I can to make sure I’m prepared for ninth grade, prepared for high school and to keep maintaining that positive habit of asking questions.

Are you looking forward to graduation?
Yes, definitely. I feel like a lot of the peers that are in my eighth-grade class, we all came to CJA in either fourth and fifth grade. To see that we all grew and to see what we did. We went through all the work, all the trials and trials and tribulations with mental health, physical health, academics, being there for others, and just to see that we all made it. It’s just like one huge positive moment.

How is it having girls at CJA for the first time?
Oh, it’s so surreal. I’m happy because I’m glad to see that we’re being progressive and we’re transitioning into a new light. And just to see the connection — the girls, they have a bond that I see that is unbreakable. Even though they don’t have any girl role models currently at the school, they can look forward to being those role models, and look forward to being the first graduating girls. I’m definitely attending their graduation. I’m really happy for what CJA is doing to progress and open up more opportunities for the community.

What are you thankful for?
I’m thankful for my mother. My mom, she’s done so much. And just to see her take care of me and my brother, and my stepsister. And it’s just like, wow. I’m really thankful for her because she has been with me through the high school applications. Being there for mentally and physically, providing for me constantly, providing for my family constantly. And just to see her do that, I’m just so thankful for her. She’s opened up a lot of opportunities for me.

Anything else you want people to know?
Just that I’m really thankful for all the administration. They’re all wonderful teachers. Everybody here is wonderful. Everybody does everything here from the kindness of their heart, and they don’t ask for anything back. All they ask for is love and honesty, and I feel like most students give that to them. I’m really grateful for everybody.