My family chose the Manoogian school for me in September of 2004, just as I was entering the fourth grade. I attended Manoogian from then until I graduated in April of 2013.
The high emphasis on academics beyond high school work, such as dual enrollment in community college classes, was excellent for developing my desire to independently gain knowledge beyond what is immediately available to me at my fingertips. This drive to learn definitely pushed me to give my maximum effort on the ACT when I took it and greatly influenced the perspectives that I included in my college essays.
The cultural emphasis and exposure provided through Manoogian was also a unique aspect that has definitely given me a worldview that is very different from that of my fellow students and cohorts.
I ended up attending the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, majoring in both Near Eastern Studies with an emphasis on Persian Culture and also majoring in International Studies with a concentration in International Security, Cooperation, and Norms. Currently, I am pursuing a Master's in General Epidemiology at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health.
I would say that, though charter schools are something that you may be unfamiliar with, I would look at them as a viable and unique option for giving your child an ideal and challenging educational experience. The time that I spent as a Manoogian student was one of the most shaping times in my life and I do not think that I would be the person that I am today had it not been for the faculty, staff, and curriculum they provided to me.
Raha Richardson is a graduate of the AGBU & Marie Manoogian Charter School and a 2017 graduate of the University of Michigan.