Focusing on the Future
STUDENTS | April 29, 2022
Focusing on the Future

By Arrayah T., Eighth-Grade Student at Neil Elementary School


I think a sign of maturity is to focus on the future instead of the past. I have been a student at Neil Elementary School since I was in second grade, but the time has come for me to graduate and move on to a new school. 

I will be attending Morgan Park High School in the fall, and I feel like this is my opportunity to see the outside world and branch out from my neighborhood. I feel like I wouldn’t have learned as much in elementary school if I had not attended Neil, and I can keep building on the skills I have learned here to succeed in the future. 

At Neil, I am known as a student leader and ambassador, setting the tone for my peers by working hard and advocating for myself. I have built a good relationship with Ms. Dameron, my counselor, and have been working with her to keep my grades up. 

This is the foundation of my goals for high school: to receive good grades, not get in too much trouble, and make sure that I am not pushed around. I’ve really benefited from the support I’ve gotten from City Year while at Neil and will be looking for similar opportunities in high school to improve my academics, especially in math.



Inside the classroom, I have developed a passion for science and have gotten close with my science teacher, Ms. Monroe. We are currently learning about different biomes. I like science because it allows me to be creative and do hands-on labs. I’ll never forget making elephant’s toothpaste in seventh grade. 

I’m also very committed to my extracurricular activities. I thrive on the volleyball court, especially when I’m getting my serves in, and I also love to dance. I always feel really hyper when I’m dancing, and I love to perform no matter the style. 

Doing hair and nails is another passion of mine, but I think that is going to stay a hobby instead of a future career. I still don’t really know what I want to do as an adult, but I know I’ll be able to figure that out more in high school because there will be different opportunities than there were in elementary school. 

I’m really happy that I was able to go to Neil because this school has a lot to offer. I tried to be kind to all of my peers and hope that I inspired them to stay focused and do their best. 

Neil definitely inspired me to be my best self. 

In addition to volleyball and dance, Arrayah is also involved in track and loves to use TikTok. She’s looking forward to continuing to develop her leadership skills at Morgan Park High School in the fall.