“What I want to say to the donors is thank you. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for believing in me. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. I’m going to show you guys that investing me is the best thing you’ve ever done.”
“More than once when I was growing up I was called a bad kid.
I came to Saint Martin’s, but it wasn’t by choice; my mom made me come here. The last thing I wanted to do was go to school 10 hours a day. I wanted to stay with my friends.
At SMPA I calmed down a lot, and I started to love being in school and getting involved in Co-Curricular Activities. Going into my 8th grade year, I started to play basketball and work out. My personality began to develop, and SMPA helped me get into Notre Dame High School.
I had a rough first year. I wasn’t focused. I wasn’t thinking about my future. SMPA was there to keep me on track and remind me what I could achieve. By my senior year, I was Student Body President and Co-Captain of the Varsity Basketball Team. I was sitting in my AP Honors Physics Class thinking – this is crazy! I never imagined myself here.
SMPA’s Graduate Support Program helped me with college. I didn’t know where to begin. They held my hand throughout the whole process. I gave 100% and they gave 110%. I ended up applying to 15 schools. Surprisingly, I got into almost all of them.
My top three ended up being Babson, Lehigh and Skidmore because they all gave me full rides. I want to go into business so Babson felt right because of the connections I would make moving towards my future. Babson students run some of the top businesses in the world.
Saint Martin’s gives you opportunities in life. They teach you that with hard work and education you can take advantage of those opportunities. I didn’t understand that before coming to SMPA. It’s all about helping kids achieve things they would not be achieving if they didn’t come here.
I definitely would not be attending Babson College if I did not come to this school. I would not be going to college at all if I did not come here.
I am not going to waste this opportunity. I am going to go to a good college and be successful in life. I want to make a big change in my life and my family’s life. I am going to move my family to a better neighborhood. I want to change the course of poverty throughout my family forever. A better future is a promise that I’ve made to myself and to all of you who continue to support all that Saint Martin de Porres Academy does for kids like me. Thank you for believing in me and all those coming after me.”
– Jerell, Class of 2021