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7 Years ago.......

When I came to ACLC seven years ago, I did not have a good idea of what my personal qualities were. At Franklin Elementary School, I had been the target of bullies for several years. That caused me to have low self esteem, and I stopped caring about school.

Since I stopped caring about school at a young age, I never got the chance to build study habits for myself. That made managing my time at ACLC a huge challenge. Honestly, I never did my homework because I did not have a "Can-do" attitude. Plus there are just way too many distractions in the Center.

I learned about new basics in my middle school years, however I did not seriously put them into practice until 10th grade. That was the first year I had Molly for English. In Molly's class I learned how to annotate various texts which helped me to overcome my reading comprehension problem. She also taught us how to participate in socratic seminars. Participating in socratic seminars helped me to organize my thoughts and contribute to a class discussion which I had never done before. After learning basic reading, listening, and speaking skills, I was able to bring the rest of my grades up.

Earning good grades motivated me to master my time management at ACLC. For the first time in four years, I was actually doing my homework in my Project Time. In my 10th grade year my GPA jumped from a 1.9 to a 2.5. Not only did I boost my grades, but I also boosted my self esteem.

Having a higher self esteem helped me when it came to using my thinking and reasoning skills. in my junior year, I created the Drama Club and directed two plays. The first one was  "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and the second one was "Beauty is a Beast". Both have been a challenge. Over the years, I have learned how to advertise, hold auditions, gather scripts, cast a show, create rehearsal schedules, find venues, and create sets and costumes. Directing plays can be a fun but sometimes frustrating process.

Being the leader of the Drama Club has helped me to improve on my interpersonal abilities. In the past two years, I have been able to build several friendships with the middle schoolers. That probably would'nt have happened without the Drama Club's exsistance. I have also exercised leadership when it came to gathering people for rehearsal and blocking scenes.  Both tasks can be a great challenge. I am sad to say that I will not be leading the Drama Club next year due to my graduation, but I am pleased to say that I have left my Drama Club in the hands of two bright young girls who I know will do a great job.

As far as technology, there has never been a day in ACLC when I did'nt use it. A typical technology filled day for me consists of checking emails, writting essays, powerpoints, College apps, schoarships, research, looking up song lyrics, and even creating this website. ACLC learners breathe technology. Its just apart of who we are.

My time here at ACLC has been amazing. I loved everything about this experience.  Thank your to all the my friends and facilitators for making this experience the best seven years of my life. And no matter where my life takes me, I will never forget the place I came from.

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