A Conversation with Two Shields Middle School Eighth Graders
STUDENTS | May 18, 2022
A Conversation with Two Shields Middle School Eighth Graders

Jaime and Jesus, two soon-to-be graduates from Shields Middle School in Brighton Park, are both headed to top-notch high schools next year. Jaime will be staying close to home to attend Back of the Yards College Prep, and Jesus will be headed a little farther away to attend Jones College Prep. Both of them are poised to excel in high school, having risen to the top of their class academically at Shields. They’ve also been praised by their teachers for their kindness, determination, and the people they are growing up to be overall. Get to know them more below. 

What are your interests both inside and outside of the classroom? 

Jaime: Outside of school, I like playing volleyball. During school, I like to give presentations and am also interested in algebra. I recently gave a presentation in my AVID class with Ms. LaCoco about my pet peeve, which is when my parents say to go get something by saying “la cosa al lado de la cosa” or “the thing next to the thing.”

Jesus: My interests outside of school are cross country, which I do here, football, softball, and I also like to do a little bit of boxing. In school, I like to challenge myself with the work we do here. I don’t like slacking off, and I turn in all my work because I want my grades to be up. My favorite class is reading class, and we’re currently reading the script of Romeo and Juliet. 

What are some of your favorite memories at Shields? 

Jesus: For me, it’s all the new challenges that come to me every year and then the people who will always be standing by my side no matter what. A challenge I’ve been working on is confidence. Throughout the years, I’ve always been kind of shy, and I’m still a little shy, but when the teacher calls on me, I’m able to do it. 

Jaime: I’ll always remember the first few days of school and meeting my new teachers. Even from the beginning of the school year, you can already feel the support and love that the teachers give to all the students.

How are you feeling about attending high school next year? 

Jaime: I feel good because some of my classmates are going to be joining me next year, and my high school has what I need for my future career. At Shields, I started student council, so I also want to be a leader in my new school. 

Jesus: I’m kind of nervous because there will be new people and new faces, and here you see a lot of the same faces. Because my new school is a little far away, I’ve already been practicing how to get to the train with my mom and stuff like that. 

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time? 

Jesus: My advice would be to make sure that you never give up, even though life is not always easy. There are always going to be new challenges, and those challenges are not going to be the same every year.  

Jaime: I would tell myself to keep going so that I can one day pursue the career that I want. My dream is to own my own company for architecture. 

If you could describe your time at Shields in one word, what would you pick?

Jaime: Supportive. When you’re at your lowest point, there’s always someone in this community who will help you bring your spirits up. 

Jesus: I would say love. A lot of people here sometimes act like they don’t really care about each other, but, at the end of the day, they are the people who are going to be there for you no matter what.