I wanted to be challenged

I had dreams for my future, but I wasn't sure how to achieve them. At home, I didn't hear that I was smart or could succeed. My family worried about putting food on the table. At school, there was always that one special teacher who made school bearable, but even they were so caught up with the struggling kids, they never really had time for me. I needed a mentor who would both challenge me and guide me. That's what I got at Pathfinder.

I felt supported at Pathfinder.

Pathfinder gave me an academic and emotional home. There are two types of teachers at Pathfinder: professional teachers and Teaching Fellows (students). I learned so much from all of my teachers, and for the first time, I felt valued and seen in the learning environment. My classes were engaging, and when I needed help with schoolwork, high school and college applications, or even life stuff, I knew it was okay to ask. The teachers wanted to see me grow, to become a better student and a better person.

Pathfinder changed my life

At Pathfinder, I felt pushed to my potential, and I loved it. I learned organizational skills, like time management, and solid study skills that helped me through both high school and college. I connected with kids from all different backgrounds who liked learning, and I finally felt comfortable at school. Because I felt safer expressing myself, I learned more and learned better. Pathfinder changed the way I interact with people.

I feel successful!

At Pathfinder, it’s cool to be smart and to dream big. Pathfinder prepared me for the academic challenges of high school and college, and increased my confidence to pursue my dreams. I’m so grateful for what Pathfinder gave me that I’m teaching here in the summers now.