1126 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036-4845
"I look up to my big brother now."
Those words mean a lot to me. You see, now my little brother Miguel can look up to me - but I didn't always know how to show him what's right.
It was because I didn't go to high school - I thought it was a waste of time. The schools just didn't understand me - and they didn't understand our family and what we were going through. How could I do algebra or history when I could hardly understand the teachers? At home all we speak is Spanish, so nobody could help me learn English. I figured we'd all be stuck in el barrio forever, so why even try?
NCLR's charter school has changed all that. My English is getting better and I'm not afraid to read out loud in class. And now I'm determined to be the first in my family to go to college. It won't be easy, but it's never been work that I was afraid of.
Yeah, my parents are proud of me - I'm proud of me, too. But most important, Miguel has a good role model now. He can look up to me with orgullo.
Gracias to NCLR and to my little brother. You believed in me. Just watch - I'm going to make something of myself after all!
Juan, Age 15.