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Inside CPS

News and Stories from across the District

Reflecting on a Transformative High School Experience

06 March 2024

By Aracely B., a Senior at Infinity High School

Infinity Student

I was not expecting much when I started high school. I didn’t think I was going to go to college, and I wasn’t even sure that I was going to succeed at Infinity. However, the past four years have been a wonderful experience. My teachers and everyone else have helped me so much. Our senior class is kind of crazy; we’re all very loud and our own people, which I think is amazing. 

My teachers have given me so much confidence. As a freshman, I wasn’t very confident, especially in terms of my intelligence. But my teachers recognized that I was capable of being a great student with the right supports. I may have needed a little bit more explanation or time to complete my assignments, but that’s all I needed to succeed in honors and even college-level classes. 

I want to thank all of my teachers, especially for their words of encouragement. These words might seem like a really small thing, but they were a stepping stone for me to reach my full potential. 

I hope the students who are starting high school now can hit the ground running with their confidence because it will open so many doors. It took a little while for me to gain my confidence. But, when I did, things changed for me both inside and outside of the classroom. 

I no longer bit my tongue when I knew an answer in class; instead, I raised my hand right away. I made so many more friends. And I checked my email more frequently to take advantage of opportunities that my teachers and counselors informed me of. 

One opportunity that I’m so glad I decided to apply for was the Posse scholarship. I mainly just did it for fun at first because I didn’t think I was going to get it. Even so, I still tried to be confident and did my best. 

I’ll never forget when I learned that I had received the scholarship. It was right after my last interview, so, when they told me they had follow-up questions, I thought I had forgotten to tell them some information or submit a form. Instead, they were calling to let me know the good news. I was very emotional and in shock. 

I’m going to be attending Connecticut College, and next year will be my first time living away from Chicago. I’m so excited to live on campus and bring some of my culture with me to Connecticut. It’s also not too far away from New York City, so I know that will be an option when I miss being in a big city. 

Still, it’s a little nerve-wracking and bittersweet to be leaving home. I’m a big mama’s girl and love my family a lot. It will be tough to be far away from them, but I’m ready to step outside of my comfort zone. 

In college, I’m looking forward to building on many of the passions that I’ve developed in high school. One of my favorite subjects is writing, and I enjoy writing poetry outside of school. My poetry reflects my personal experiences and issues that I am passionate about advocating against, such as gun violence in my community, gentrification, and Roe v. Wade being overturned. I’ve been very involved in community organizing and other forms of activism. 

I also love to draw and paint, and I actually want to major in art in college. I’m currently working on a mural in my community that is Day of the Dead themed. It’s a woman skeleton who is dressed in Guatemalan colors, because that’s where I’m from, and I’m also incorporating a lot of Mexican culture and imagery as well. Representation matters, and I try to show that through my art. 

My ultimate goal is to combine my passion for art with entrepreneurship and own my own tattoo shops. I know this will be a way to use my skills to make people happy. 

My senior year has been going great, but, just as it will be bittersweet to leave home to go to college, it will be bittersweet to leave Infinity. Everyone I met there means a lot to me. I hope that I will make them proud even after I graduate.

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