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Welcome 8th Graders!

In late April, College Town welcomed 19 new students, all 8th graders from Memorial Preparatory and Wilson Middle School. As the newest additions to our Reality Changers family, we want to introduce them to you and what they will be working on in the next few months. 

From Wilson Middle School–drumroll please!–we welcome: Lily Stephanie, Jonathan Yahir G., Roberto, Jergio Anthony, Jonathan N., Jiram Giar, Yuridia, Alina, Rogelio, and Pablo Misael. 

From Memorial Preparatory–drumroll please!–we welcome: Saul, Anthony Tayler, Jennifer Naomi, Giovanni, John Marc Enroe, Joseline Yarlinn, Hector, Jacob Charles Lagto, Jazmine Destiny, and Zakaria. 

On Monday nights, these 8th grade students will join Lead Achievement Coach, Jose Perez, in virtual programming. Working toward self-awareness, resourcefulness, and resilience (SRR model), through this curriculum students will begin developing their “why” by reflecting on their life experiences and support systems, develop resilience skills by analyzing different first-generation narratives, and gain academic skills by collaborating with current student leaders. Throughout, students will begin to hone their own voice in advocating for themselves by validating their success and failures as they leave middle school and prepare for high school. 

8th graders will engage in interactive discussions and activities using Zoom breakout rooms during virtual programming to learn more about Reality Changers and the community cheering them on. Part of this entails pairing students with 9-11th grade student leaders. Delegation, the student leadership team for College Town, will step up to welcome and support the 8th grade students as they begin their time at Reality Changers. Delegation members will join 8th grade programming every other Monday to mentor the 8th graders. As mentors, they will work with 8th grade students to create SMART goals and an action plan for the 8th graders’ following year–their first year as a high school student. 

On Tuesdays, students will get to know the Reality Changers’ volunteer team through tutoring. As an integral part of encouraging Reality Changers’ students in their pursuit of academic excellence, tutors will work 1-1 with 8th graders on their homework and assignments. Volunteers will be paired with the same students week to week to help them track their goals, build momentum, and cultivate relationships. Students will come to tutoring with 2 goals for the session, and tutors will work with them on achieving those. Volunteers will also help prepare students for 8th grade speech night at the end of June wherein 8th graders will share their own journeys up to this point. 

Staff, students, volunteers, and our extended community here at Reality Changers are incredibly excited to welcome another amazing class of students on their way to becoming college graduates. While their journey as Reality Changers’ students is just beginning, we know they will go far. 

Katie Craig

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