STUDENTS | May 16, 2022
Mikeyah, Jalana, Jai’la, and Saniya have all developed a close friendship with each other at Curtis School of Excellence on Chicago’s Far South Side. Even though they will likely all be attending different high schools next year, they plan to stay in touch and continue supporting each other through freshman year and beyond. Their time at Curtis has already prepared them well to succeed in the future, as they’ve been recognized as being some of Curtis’ top eighth-graders academically and role models for their peers. Get to know each of them more below.
Meet Jalana, Attending Brooks College Prep in the Fall
How are you feeling about attending high school in the fall?
I am excited and nervous at the same time because I have been working so hard to attend Brooks since I was in the third grade. I’m feeling very proud of myself because I doubted myself at times but I still made it.
What will you miss the most about Curtis?
I will miss the relationships that I’ve built with both my current and past teachers. I also have a really great relationship with my counselors and feel that I can tell them almost everything.
What are you considering as a potential future career?
I see myself working with children since I want a pediatrician when I grow up. I want to be able to cure children who have diseases and take care of them when they’re sick and make sure that they’re okay.
Meet Saniya, Attending Jones College Prep in the Fall
How would your peers describe you at Curtis?
People would describe me as someone who always speaks my mind. Even if I end up being wrong, I still say what is on my mind. They also describe me as being a very intelligent young lady.
What’s something you enjoy doing outside of school?
I like to learn languages, but I don’t really stay on one for long. Right now, I’m actually trying to learn Welsh. People call it an endangered language because not many speak that language anymore.
What is a lesson you’ve learned that has helped you succeed at Curtis?
I’ve learned to focus on myself before I focus on other people. I try to be the best version of myself that I can be without getting overwhelmed.
Meet Jai’la, Potentially Attending Carver Military Academy in the Fall
What do you like to learn inside the classroom?
My favorite subjects are social science and science. In science class, we’re learning about biology and natural selection. In social science, we’re learning about voting and how bills are made.
What’s an accomplishment at Curtis that you’re proud of?
I was really proud of the job that I did as the student council president. We really wanted to make the principal happy, and she told us that we were the first group that put effort into creating a better learning environment and making the school a better place.
What is one of your favorite memories at Curtis?
I was at recess with Jalana and Saniya, and it was Waterworks Day, when we all get to throw water balloons at each other. I think it was also someone’s birthday. The three of us started throwing balloons, and then they decided to pour a bucket of water on me.
Meet Mikeyah, Likely Attending Butler College Prep in the Fall
What are your messages to the staff and your fellow students at Curtis?
I want to say thank you for pushing me academically. Sometimes I did not want to come to school, but I still came and I feel like I learned something new every single time I came.
Is there a teacher at Curtis who you know you’ll always remember?
My favorite teacher was Mr. Watson in fourth grade. He pushed me and a few other students like Saniya and Jalana to learn more, and we were even doing algebra through IXL in fourth grade.
What advice would you give to future eighth-grade students at Curtis?
I would encourage them to be more mature. In eighth grade, they don’t congratulate you for doing what you’re supposed to do. You should just do that without being asked.