My Story is One Word: SUCCESS
An avid speaker, social justice advocate and Sparring Club member, Andrew is always looking to make the most of his educational experience at Clark Street Community School. While he has always considered himself a dedicated student, his ability to actively develop and pursue his passions was something that could only happen at CSCS.
“I’ve wanted to do something in law since 6th grade, CSCS make that goal realistic.”
Seeing possibilities has never been a struggle for Andrew. Since middle school, doing something in the field of law was a non-negotiable, but figuring out his path to get there and knowing what area of law to target were still hovering in the unknown.
Last year, Andrew decided to take a Start Up class at CSCS where students created their own salsa business. Through this class, Andrew learned about business but was also able to take it one step further and focus on corporate law. Further conversations with his Advisor, classes focused around Personal Finance and attending a national college fair in Sun Prairie helped him hone in on a plan: Madison College first, then UW Madison then either Stanford or Hamline. Why is he starting at Madison College? Because his goal is to graduate from college debt-free. Now he has a path.
“My mindset completely changed the moment I got here.”
Andrew is constantly looking for opportunities to connect with new people, find new experiences and push himself to grow. He knows that improving his skills now will pave a smoother path once he graduates and begins the road to law school.
One of the first barriers he had to overcome, though, was math. Andrew was in a constant feud with math. He felt like he was never good at math, hated it and wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. One of his classes and teachers at CSCS changed that completely. The Crash Course in Physics class had students creating a math model by reconstructing crime scenes using complicated geometry principles. Faced with this daunting challenge, Andrew went to one of his teachers who told him,
“It’s not about being good at math, it’s about being resilient and have an open mind.”
This is the mantra that Andrew now carries with him everyday. He embraces the idea that mistakes are okay because he now understands how to problem solve in the way that is best for him. As a result, he feels like he has become a better learner, excited by that prospect that, “I’ve come a long way and still have a long way to go.”
His freshman year, he attended the Great World Texts conference at UW Madison with one of his seminars. He was inspired by the students who stood up and shared their projects, making a goal to do that himself in the future. This year that dream became a reality when he was selected to present and speak about his project in front of a full audience of 400 at the Great World Texts conference. Now anything is a possibility and while Andrew has his own plans, he has learned to keep an open mind to the additional opportunities he encounters through CSCS.
“In the fullest sense, we are a community.”
Andrew describes high school as, “The beginning of a journey for the rest of your life.” He explains that at CSCS you see so many people come through the door, dedicated to their work. There is failure among the successes but Andrew strongly believes that no matter what the journey, CSCS is the best place for students to grow.
In a job market that is shifting with every generation, Andrew sees CSCS as the school that is built to prepare students for that unknown future. In his eyes, CSCS has figured out how to offer independence with intention. Students are given independence as they are ready for it, but have structure and support ready to fall back on.
Ultimately, though, Andrew is most inspired by the sense of community. Staff and students are honest and open with each other so no one has to go through high school with a sense of isolation. Andrew knows he has made friends for life.