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Fifth-Grade Students at Everett ES Share their Personal Success Stories

10 January 2023

Julian and Julieta have developed into role models for their peers.

Everett Students

Julian and Julieta have developed into role models for their peers at Everett STEM Elementary School on Chicago’s Southwest Side. Their principal, Mr. Rodolfo Rojas, describes them as motivated, driven students who reflect the school’s commitments to community and academic excellence. And Everett’s STEM instructional coach, Ms. Winnie Ho, notes that both of them have stood out for their growth mindsets, willingness to collaborate with their classmates, and aptitude for tackling challenges through creative problem solving. 

Both Julian and Julieta have been students at Everett since they were in kindergarten, and their time at the school is drawing to a close since fifth grade is the highest grade that Everett serves. While they might be a little nervous about starting middle school, they’re taking time to reflect on all the ways they’ve grown so far and are using that growth as motivation for the future. Get to know both of them more below.


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

Julian: I love to learn new things, especially in STEM. We’ve been doing woodworking and have been using saws and drills with different materials. When I’m learning new things, not only am I getting to know something new, but I can also help other people learn. Outside of the classroom, I like hanging out with my family. I also like playing sports such as baseball. It motivates me to be my best, and I can motivate other people to be their best. 

Julieta: I really like math, writing, and art. I’m building my confidence through math by solving problems quickly. When I’m writing, I feel like time flies. We’ve been working on an essay about if animals should be kept in zoos. I do not think they should be kept in zoos because they might not be properly taken care of. In art, I especially enjoy learning about art from different cultures. 

How has the school year been going so far for you? 

Julieta: It’s been going really well. I’ve been getting good grades and was even named student of the month. That made me really proud of myself and made me feel really good. 

Julian: The school year has been very successful. I’ve been stabilizing my grades to make the A/B Honor Roll. I’ve also been motivating myself to finish all of my work and then help others. Finally, I’ve been focusing on making better decisions such as paying more attention in class. Between last year and this year, I’m a different person because I feel like I’m doing everything better. 


Stairs with book names on steps


Based on your own personal successes, what advice would you give other students? 

Julian: I want to use myself as an example to help somebody else. I struggled with a lack of motivation, but now I feel like I am more motivated and can share that motivation with others to help them with their tests and assignments. 

Julieta: I would remind my peers that when a teacher tells you to correct something, it’s not because they are trying to be mean or disrespectful. They want you to get better. Also, if you need help, you should raise your hand and ask for it. Everyone is extremely supportive and can help you in those types of situations. 

What are some of your favorite memories at Everett? 

Julieta: What I will always remember is the positive communication that I have with my classmates and the staff around the school. They’re really supportive and can help you with anything you need. I also really enjoy the STEM inquiry projects we do every time we finish a unit. The most recent one we worked on was about water filtration. 

Julian: Something that is cool about Everett is that my family has been part of the school for generations, including the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, all the way until now. Even though the school has been around for so long, it’s still very clean. I also have good relationships with my teachers and am close friends with the other students in my grade. 

What do you want people at Everett to remember about you after you move on to middle school? 

Julian: I want people to know that I always tried my hardest to help others. 

Julieta: I would like people to remember that I always tried my best and was kind. Even when I would sometimes make mistakes, I learned from them and used them to grow. 


Everett School

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