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We set out to interview real, Michigan charter school graduating seniors to uncover why they LOVE their school, how it helped prepare them for their next steps, and where their path leads next! Check out our interview with 2020 grad, Xavier Reyes!
My academic background (K-6) involved attending the local public school system & I had many struggles, largely due to my mild to moderate (both diagnosed & undiagnosed) special needs. The struggles increased significantly beginning in 3rd grade and became most severe during 6th grade. Over the years, I faced significant bullying for being "different", and it led to a steep decline in my academics and emotional happiness. I spent my middle school years (7th and 8th grade) outside the brick and mortar environment at MI Connections Academy. During the time away from traditional school, I was able to heal from the bullying, find myself again, focus on my academics (which were and still are very important to me), get therapy, and receive proper diagnose of my special needs. After those 2 years, I was READY to return to a brick & mortar, in-person school to begin high school! As we researched options (other than the regular local school program previously attended), we realized that Black River Public School (BR) would be a great fit for me. Beginning in 9th grade, at a school where I knew no other students, I have grown in my self-confidence and my academic abilities, gained really great friends who accept me just as I am, and re-found myself (and I really like who I found)!
Honestly, all Math & Science related classes have always been my favorite types of classes. However, since having the opportunity at BR to attend classes like: CAD, 3D Computer Animation, and Sociology...my list of faves has grown. I do plan on pursuing a degree utilizing what I have learned in 3D Computer Animation over the years by seeking a Bachelor's Degree in Digital Animation & Game Design via Ferris University. I do plan on expanding my knowledge of Sociology (both by attending Sociology-based courses and by using what I have learned while interacting with people), along with learning about Psychology.
Mr. Todd Swartz has definitely impacted me, both personally and academically. He has been one of my math teachers, my CAD teacher, and my 3D Computer Animation teacher over the past 4 yrs of high school. He has a fun, comical personality and taught "lessons to live by" as he taught the classes' curriculum. He taught in a way that was more casual, fun, and basically easier for me to understand. He is approachable, very easy to talk to & ask questions of. He always gave us the chance to do things "out the box" as long as the basic assignment/project requirements were met. He allowed us to problem solve, be creative, have unique ideas & solutions. He let me be me as I learned from him. He has helped in my college search, choosing my career path (by sharing his experiences & educated insights with me), and even attended a college presentation with me when my parents were unable to. He has believed in me & my abilities to be successful at BR, in college, and in life.
School: Black River Public School
Next adventure: Ferris State University
Dreams & goals: Pursue a degree in Digital Animation and Game Design!