I met my husband in Puerto Rico in 1980. We married young and we moved to Boston to live with his family. After a number of years trying to conceive, life blessed us with Luis, and later with his sister, Gianna.
Luis attended Boston Public Schools from kindergarten through fifth grade. He never had problems at school, though when he was little they recommended that I have him tested for ADD.
The evaluation found that he did not have problems paying attention, but during his years in elementary school he had a tendency to act distracted in the classroom. At the time when he was about to graduate from fifth grade, a number of people had talked to us about public charter schools, and we decided to enter the lottery that spring.
We received a seat at Boston Prep Charter Public School in Hyde Park, and it was during those first few years at Boston Prep that we realized that the reason that Luis had been distracted was that he had not felt challenged in the classroom. At Boston Prep we immediately saw a huge change in Luis, not just academically, but also as a person and as a member of his school community.
At Boston Prep, if someone in the school community is having a tough day, everyone knows it. Students, teachers and administrators all look out for and support one another. As a mother, I never heard of a single bullying incident at the school. Regardless of race, skin color, anything, all members of the school community are equals (and treated as such). They are truly a family.
The school provides a lot of structure and high expectations, but they do so with a high level of support. In sixth grade they start talking to the kids about college and students start to visit universities in their first year.
It was thanks to this focus on getting ready for college and career, that last year the school helped Luis secure a full scholarship to attend NYU’s eight-week summer program where he received credit for two college courses. This experience helped him prepare mentally for college life.
This year, Luis graduated from Boston Prep. Though he graduated in 2018, at his school, his class is known as the class of 2022—the year in which the students are expected to graduate from college. Luis received a full scholarship to Northeastern University. And when I say full, I mean that I went to pay the admission fee and they told me even that was included!
Gianna, his sister, is also at Boston Prep. My husband and I are so proud that our children will represent first-generation college students and we are grateful to Boston Prep for helping support our family’s educational dreams.