Anthony R.

Anthony R., CICS Longwood Senior is Named Outstanding Charter Student by INCS

Written by Chicago International Charter School
02 February 2017
Posted in News

Anthony R. Shares his experience at CICS Longwood, and what led him to be named Outstanding Charter School Senior.

You were recently recognized at the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) conference as an Outstanding Charter School Senior. Who nominated you for that award, and how did you find out that you won? What was it like being recognized at the conference?

Yes, I am extremely blessed and honored to have received the reward. My college access counselor and One Goal program director, Ms. Chatman, nominated me for this award. She had received notification about the scholarship two days before the deadline, and she told me and a few other students to get to work on composing the essay and securing two recommendations. I was later notified by phone call, a few weeks after my submission, that I was one of the four winners being honored for the Outstanding Charter School Senior Award. The conference was amazing. I was able to bring my sister in-law, and we enjoyed a delicious luncheon and some great performances. And of course, it was also nice to be awarded the scholarship check for $1,000.

How do you think you embody the characteristics of an outstanding senior?

I believe that leadership is not just carried out through micro-managed delegation. Instead, I have sought to be a leader in the classroom, on the job, and in my community by choosing to lead by example, in showing students that just because life throws you a curve ball doesn’t mean that you still don’t swing. I have done this through my involvement in many of my school’s extra-curricular and co-curricular activities that include my school’s basketball team, peer jury, debate team, and national honor society. I have also made an effort to volunteer in community service activities around my school and in my community where I’ve accumulated over 90 service-learning hours.  Also, I’ve worked four internships (to date) in finance, sales, and marketing at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, BMO Harris Bank, The Chi Teen Lit Fest, and Salesforce. With that being said, there are so many outstanding seniors within the state of Illinois, and it was an honor to be recognized for my efforts.

What are your favorite classes at Longwood? Are you involved in any extracurricular activities like clubs or sports?

My favorite classes at Longwood would have to be One Goal and English. In One Goal, we have learned how to be proactive in the college application process, what we call the AAA+E process, and we are able to do this while sharing a cohort, a community with many other individuals who are all striving for one goal: college graduation. In English, I have had the same teacher for the last three years. Ms. Lunz has truly challenged me and my classmates to always read past the surface of a passage, making us into excellent literary analysts. I enjoy coming to her class to be challenged with new reads or writing assignments. So far, this year, I have headed the homecoming committee and continuously been a part of my school’s peer jury ( a group of student-leaders that serve as peer-counselors and mediators in resolving interpersonal conflict within the school).

How does it feel going into the last semester of your senior year?

It feels amazing to be at the home stretch of senior year. It is honestly a great feeling to be concluding this chapter of my life, and I’m definitely looking forward to progressing to the next. With that in mind, I have already started applying for scholarships and financial aid, and I’m confident that I will have college decision soon and that my post-secondary education will be fully paid for.

Do you have plans for after graduation? How do you think Longwood has prepared you for those plans?

I definitely plan to go to a four-year college, but I haven’t been able to make a real decision yet. I think Longwood has prepared me for my plan of going to college by presenting me with choices to accept the norms of mediocrity in society or to be able to control of my own destiny through having a vision and a plan to execute it. Longwood has presented so many opportunities for student-led delegation: for us to plan our own events and to truly make high school the experience that we choose. Longwood has taught me that success isn’t for those who desire it, but it’s for those who are willing to go and get it.

Is there anyone you would like to thank for supporting you throughout high school?

Yes. I have my older brother, Geno and his wife to thank for always having my back and being there for me whenever I needed them. They have taught me that family sticks together, and they took me into their home when my father exiled me from his home.  I also would like to thank my two teachers that I’ve had since my sophomore year: Ms. Lunz and Ms. Winfert. I attribute much of my success on the ACT to their diligence and commitment to preparing me for the rigors of such a test. They have also held me to my own personal standard of leadership and scholarship whenever I felt like giving up. Last, but not least, I want to thank my Ms. Stone and Ms. Chatman who have consistently given me nothing but great advice about school and life after college. They have also presented me with different avenues (scholarships, internships, leadership opportunities, etc.) to expound on my abilities and use the gifts that God have blessed me with.

If you could give advice to any younger students reading this, what would you tell them?

My advice to younger students would be to see the ending in the beginning in everything that you do. Realize that high school only lasts four years, and while you want to have fun, don’t lose sight of your vision. 

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