Sydney S. is a 2014 graduate of our Boushall Achievement Center and is currently in the 11th grade at Richmond Community High School. She is passionate about playing clarinet, and hopes to attend college for music.
Tell us about your favorite staff member.
Sydney: Ms. Melissa, Ms. Kia, and Mr. Elliot. I met Ms. Melissa at my interview. She was the first Higher Achievement person I met, so right off the bat that’s the first relationship I had. I was really nervous. My mom told me to send her a thank you, so I sent her one. The first week of Higher Achievement she asked to see me. I thought, “How did I get in trouble on the first day?” Ms. Melissa said, “I just want to thank you so much for that thank you card.” Ever since then, she and I have been very close.
Who is your role model?
Sydney: My mom, my aunt, and my best friends. My mom is always pushing me. I understand why she’s doing it. Most kids don’t have a parent that pushes them as much as she does. Some days I don’t want to be pushed. Then some days I do. It’s all love at the end of the day. My aunt was the one who taught me to play clarinet. My grandfather taught her how to play. Since I’m the only child and grandchild, they passed it to me. She first taught me how to play clarinet when I was in 3rd grade. I was playing on my grandfather’s clarinet. It was old, but still had a really good sound, which is rare.
How do you feel Higher Achievement shaped the person you are today?
Sydney: I’m not as afraid to speak my mind to people. I am less hesitant when socializing with people. When I met Ms. Archer [a mentor I was introduced to as an alumni], I wanted her learn about me. I like talking to people who I’m not as familiar with, people who could be of importance to me. Higher Achievement enhanced my caring personality, taught me the value of my education, and helped me build long-lasting friendships. They’re very hands-on, and they’re never out of contact.
What are you up to these days?
Sydney: I’m an 11th grader at Richmond Community High School. I keep busy with homework, projects, family, and improving myself. We get consistent homework and it always keeps us on our toes. We’re doing fundraising for our senior year. We help each other with our work and try to keep each other on track. I’m trying to stay on top of myself, to apply to colleges soon. We’re going to sign up for the SATs in March.
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