Reinventing America’s Schools

Laura Munoz

Parent of 2nd-grader Victor, Rocky Mountain Prep Southwest Elementary Charter School Denver

I feel like this community is a little bit left behind, because of the low income status. And graduation rates are at an all-time low for Hispanic students. And it makes me sad and it makes me scared for my child. It makes me kind of want to move away from this area, and that's why in my opinion I wanted to go to another city and figure it out, travel if I had to. But, I didn't think that this community would make him the man that I want him to be. And I didn't value education, again because I wasn't challenged by my teachers.

I actually didn't get to go to college until 10 years after I graduated from high school. I barely graduated from high school. And then, once I had him I decided to go back to school, and I just recently graduated from college and I'm like, I'm not going to let that happen to my son. I'm not going to let him wait 10 years to decide that school is for him.

And so, I decided to go back to school while he's in preschool and kindergarten, and just recently graduated. I'm looking for someone to tell him that college is an option, and that's what this school does for him. The fact that the teachers use their college mascots to name their classrooms is such an inspiration to him, and he now loves to watch college football and he roots for his teachers' college teams. And to me, I didn't even know about college at his age. I had no idea that people can go to college. Nobody had ever talked to me about college before. And now, having that support and that background from the school, not only me as a parent telling him, "Hey, you know, there's college and you need to get there." But having the teachers also implement that in their curriculum and the kids knowing about college makes me feel safe. Like I have two people telling him that it's a possibility.

Listen to the Story