Sunday, May 10, 2009

Student Spotlight: Marquita Fisher

Chicago Hope Academy 9th grader Marquita Fisher has been in our program since she graduated from her YMCA mentoring program and started here as a 7th grader back in 2006. At her YMCA program, she was paired up with Kiera Kelly. Referring to their first few mentoring sessions, Marquita explains “we clicked right away—she understood me”. Luckily their relationship grew strong enough that when Marquita’s K-6 program at the YMCA ended, Kiera agreed to stay with her and work together at Cabrini Connections where they continue to build their mentoring relationship to this day. In Marquita’s 8th grade year, she and Kiera discussed what high school she should attend. After attending LaFayette Elementary School on the west side it would have been easy for her to attend her neighborhood school, Manley. However, Kiera encouraged her to strive to attend the best possible high school she could, so she ended up applying and gaining admission to Chicago Hope Academy, a private college prep school blocks from where she stays on the West side.

The shift to the more rigorous workload of a college prep school like Chicago Hope Academy was difficult at first, particularly in math, but with Kiera’s encouragement, Marquita has been staying after school and working with her teachers to ensure she understands all the material and gets all her work done on time.

However, Marquita realizes that all this hard work is for a purpose. After graduating High School she intends to enroll in an out-of-state university and study psychology or social work. She has known for a while that she wants to do some sort of counseling for a career since she often finds herself counseling her friends and family through difficult times. Through relating other people’s struggles with her own, Marquita finds that she can relate with people well, both youth and adults. She hopes that eventually she can use this gift to help others cope with difficult situations as a professional counselor. Just this past week in the Cabrini Connections College Zone, Marquita and Kiera met with our own college zone advisors Carla and Stephanie to discuss the wide variety of careers that she could explore that involve counseling others through difficult times.

When not exploring careers or working on school projects, Marquita and Kiera enjoy spending time together outside of our Wed night tutoring sessions. For example, they always celebrate their birthdays, which are only 2 days apart, June 21st and June 19th respectively, by going out on the town together. In the past they’ve gone to Dave and Busters, Six Flags, Safari Land, and all sorts of other fun places where they can enjoy each others company. Since Marquita describes herself as a “cool, outgoing person that likes to have fun”, they surely have a great time. Once again, congratulations Marquita on earning the student spotlight. Keep up the great work!

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