July 2018 DC Charter School News

An Impressive Feat...
Graduates of Public Charter Schools
Meet Erick, Paraeducator Graduate 
Photo Credit: Carlos Rosario International PCS
 
Erick is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Carlos Rosario International PCS Bilingual Paraeducator program.  Recently, he was hired as a Bilingual Paraeducator at LaSalle Backus Education Campus.  “My passion in life is teaching.  I love teaching.  When I am teaching, I forget everything around me. Thinking about teaching removes all the stress from me,” he said.  It is this passion for education that Erick wants to bring to the LaSalle Backus Education Campus.  He knows being a paraeducator requires a lot of patience, but he has the motivation and determination.  Erick says he is ready for this position thanks to the training he received at the Carlos Rosario School.  

In January 2018, Erick began college at the University of the District of Columbia, majoring in Education with financial support from the Carlos Rosario School’s scholarship program.  “All this could not be possible without the support of the Carlos Rosario School," he said.  Read more about his story here.

Meet Trevin, Rising Ninth Grader

Photo Credit: The Children's Guild DC PCS
Frustrated and impulsive were adjectives that could easily describe The Children's Guild DC PCS alumnus, Trevin Backus.  He was in several fights and altercations with staff members which resulted in an inability to build relationships with staff members and other students, as well as complete school work.  The school's leadership identified the challenges facing Trevin and found solutions.  The solutions consisted of using a lead behavior coach to guide him with peer mediation, skills training, and conflict resolution; teachers were trained to be more culturally responsive to students like Trevin who were challenged by the environment and other obstacles; and the school created multi-sensory de-escalation rooms to support students at their most explosive moments.  

In his final year at The Children’s Guild, Trevin begin to realize that anger was a natural feeling; instead of flipping over a desk, Trevin now chooses to walk away and find someone to talk to.  He credits the addition of social workers who helped him find coping strategies to effectively self-regulate and formulate bonds.  He also began to visit the Langdon Park Recreation Center, through the school’s community partnership, and participate in its after-school programs.  Trevin stands out to The Children's Guild staff because he truly embodies the idea of transformation.  His drive and focus to work on himself was evident throughout his final school year.  He went from impulsivity to reflection and self-regulation.  As an older sibling and rising freshman at the Ron Brown Academy, Trevin now wants to make his family proud.  After high school, he would like to attend college and major in sports medicine and management.  

Meet Santos, Samuel Halperin Lecture and Youth Public Service Awardee

Photo Credit: Capital City PCS

Santos Amaya Guevara, a member of the Class of 2018, joined Capital City PCS during her 10th grade year; she arrived to the United States a year earlier.  Santos struggled to learn English and access the curriculum during her ninth grade year at another school.  However, after transferring to Capital City PCS, Santos received support through their before school English learner support class.  By the end of her 10th grade year, Santos presented her 10th grade portfolio to a panel of adults - in English.  She soon began using her newly honed presentation and research skills, and her own experience immigrating to the United States to advocate for immigrant students like herself.  She met with Senator Bernie Sanders to share why immigrant youth need protection from deportation, and she also joined a local advocacy organization and recruited immigrant teens to share their experience through a storytelling project. Additionally, Santos is a Samuel Halperin Lecture and Youth Public Service Awardee.  Read her winning essay about her journey immigrating to United States from El Salvador here

Santos will attend The University of the District of Columbia - Community College in the fall to pursue an associate's degree as a legal assistant.  Afterward, she plans to enroll in a four-year university, followed by law school.  Her goal is to become an immigration lawyer.  

Meet Ana, GED and Associates in Computer Science Graduate

Photo Credit: The Next Step PCS

Ana Maria Hernandez, a graduate of The Next Step PCS, was so glad and relieved that she was able to find The Next Step because the school guided her to all the open doors that - for a long time - she saw as closed or non-exististant.  She said, "I thought I wasn’t able to go to school in this country, and I was considering going back to [Bogotá], Colombia because it is my dream to earn a college degree.  But, it wasn’t until I spoke with the college and career advisor [at The next Step], and she told me about all the opportunities for students.  I learned how to navigate the systems of applying to scholarships and colleges." 

After three months at The Next Step, Ana took and passed the GED test.  She credits The Next Step for teaching her the value of the test and showing her how it would allow her to meet her academic goals. Ana recently completed her associates degree program in Computer Science at the University of the District of Columbia and is currently working on an IT certification and transferring to George Mason University - Community College to pursue a bachelor’s degree in statistics. 

Meet Joshua, Rising College Freshman

Photo Credit: POSSE Foundation 

Joshua Bryant is Two Rivers PCS's second Posse Scholar alumnus; he will attend Sewanee, the University of the South, tuition-free this fall.  The Posse Scholar program will provide Joshua with a full-tuition four-year scholarship, faculty support, and the support of a group of his peers.  Joshua Bryant graduated from Two Rivers' middle school in 2014.  Although Joshua joined the Two Rivers crew for only two short years, NaKeisha Jones-Helton, their Dean of Students and Families, says Joshua "knew what he wanted" and "took full advantage of the tools that teachers made available to him."  Joshua could frequently be found in after-school informal tutoring sessions.  Joshua credits Two Rivers with introducing him to the language of the growth mindset.  He says, "I was ambitious toward learning new things and becoming a different person.  I didn't want to settle for just one career someday."

Meet Academy of Hope PCS Graduates Who Got a Second Chance at a Diploma
Video Credit: WUSA9

WUSA9 covered Academy of Hope PCS's graduation.  Watch the video above to learn what this day meant for many of the students. 

Meet IDEA PCS's Outstanding Graduates

Photo Credit: IDEA PCS
(Top Row, Left-to-Right: Kayla Fleming, Mercedes Butler, Simeon Coker;
Bottom Row, Left-to-Right: David Flores, Darren Powell, Wayne Powell) 

IDEA PCS recently highlighted six of their outstanding graduates from the Class of 2018.  Read about each one of these graduates here.

Upcoming Events
August 9 - DC PCSB Summer Graduation Ceremony
On August 9, DC PCSB will host its 3rd annual summer graduation ceremony for public charter high school seniors who needed to complete summer classes in order to be eligible to receive their high school diploma. 
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