Graduating senior Yomaris Melecio offers some final reflections before she graduates from Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School and moves on to Swarthmore College.
My name is Yomaris Melecio and I am a Senior in the Class of 2019 at Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School. When I began my journey at MBA, I was a shy 11-year-old in the 6th grade who thought it was best to conform to the ideals of every other middle-schooler around me so that I could fit in. Who knew that at such a young age I’d be questioning everything about who I am and what I should be doing? Luckily for me, I had really amazing teachers who stressed the idea of just being yourself and loving who you are. During my entire middle school experience, I let go of trying to be like everyone else and found that I have a passion for both reading and writing. I learned that I have a voice that deserves to be heard and an imagination that will take me farther than I’d ever know. I had the opportunity and confidence to find my voice and I’m glad I did.
During my high school years is when I really got the opportunity to build off of what I learned in middle school–and I assure you it was a lot–and grow more as a person. I began to play varsity sports, participate in programs and clubs, and gain new relationships that I never would have had the opportunity to form if I hadn’t participated the way I did. I have played two varsity sports and managed another one over my 4 years in high school. I’ve also participated in many different opportunities: a school talent show, school carnivals and festivals, leadership conferences, anti-bullying campaigns, the National Honor Society, student government, and multiple community service opportunities. The thing is, I cannot simply account for my participation in these amazing opportunities to my outgoing nature or “go-getter” attitude. If it wasn’t for of all of the talks and encounters I had with my family, administration or my teachers, I wouldn’t be the ambitious young woman I am today. My mother and father overcame their own tribulations and obstacles, and made it through stronger and wiser, and taught me to never let any circumstances keep me down. My teachers constantly pushed me to be better, work harder, and never let me give up on myself because they knew I had it in me. My coaches saw potential in me when I didn’t see much of it, and they stuck by me for 4 years while I evolved as a player, student, and person.
Mariana Bracetti Academy didn’t just support and push me academically; they also supported me and my family in times that we’ve needed it. My brother, an alum from MBA, went through a very difficult time during his last year and struggled to get through. My mother reached out to the school and explained the situation to them. The counselor, teachers and administration came together and came up with a plan for my brother so that he could graduate as planned while getting the support he needed. I’ve never seen so much flexibility and willingness to help, and it’s something I, and my family, can never forget.
Mariana Bracetti Academy, over the years, has expanded, evolved, and grown just as much as its students have. There is not one administration member, staff member, or teacher who hasn’t, in some way, played a meaningful part in the amazing development of a school and community that I am proud to be a part of. I want to dispel any idea that Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School is just a school–it’s not. It’s not just a place that children go to for an education or to participate in a club. MBA is a home for some, a safe haven, a community and most of all it’s a family. I am grateful for everyone who has played a part in this family over the years.
To all my teachers, and to the teachers I didn’t get the chance to know, thank you for being a part of this family. For showing up every day to better the minds of every student that sat in front of you. To all of the coaches and club leaders, thank you for providing a safe, positive environment for students to spend time. For helping build a family within an already giant one, and pushing your members every day. Last but not least, to all of the administration and staff, thank you for helping keep our well oiled machine in tact all of these years and showing up everyday to ensure that it never stops running. Thank you also to:
- The lunch staff who help provide meals.
- The maintenance staff who makes sure we are constantly in a clean, safe environment.
- The office staff who ensures we are on time every day and safe.
- The Board who works hard to make sure every student’s needs are met and that we are constantly learning something new.
I say thank you for the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing school. I urge you all to understand how important this school has been to me and how important it can be to more students in the future as it expands. As Mariana Bracetti Academy grows its already amazing community, I believe it will be a truly positive experience for so many students to come. I speak for myself and many others when I say thank you Mariana Bracetti, and all of the people who helped make it as amazing as it is and for all the growing you’ve helped me do over the years. I will forever be proud to be an MBA Bulldog.