The school year is well underway, and from where I sit, our community at HSLA-Brooklyn is on track to make it the most memorable one yet. I wanted to take a moment to share some advice with my scholars, that I hope you’ll keep in mind as we continue to work hard and dream big.
Building on Your Achievements
Our school community continues to grow, and this year we have two classes of scholars: our Class of 2031 (the freshman) and our Class of 2030 (current sophomores).
Freshmen, I’m sure this school year has already felt very fast — we’re already through the first units of AP courses — but perhaps also excruciatingly slow; there’s so much to do before the next break. I want you to remember to take a step back and enjoy the journey. I think you’re going to find (and your parents will likely agree!) that every year goes faster than the last.
My sophomores — you are, and will always be, the oldest scholars in this school. Your passion and dedication will help decide what this school will be like, and what we can achieve. Please remember to think of yourselves as the strong leaders that you are.
A World of Opportunities
This school year, all of us are practicing strong work and leadership habits — and I hope you’re using all the resources at your disposal. Ask for help when you need it at office hours. Use our tutoring and online counseling services. Now more than ever, your destiny is in your hands.
I will continue to urge you to jump head-first into as many opportunities as you can. Start a club around a topic you’re passionate about, apply to our academic Fellowships and Dual Enrollment arts programs, mentor others, volunteer. All of us at HSLA-BK deeply believe you are the best and brightest in the country — let’s show everyone, colleges included, exactly what you can do when you put your mind to it.
Remember that last year was the first year that every freshman at Success Academy high schools took an AP exam. People told us we were crazy for that. Not necessarily because they thought freshmen couldn’t handle APs, but because they thought Success Academy freshmen couldn’t handle them. And what did you do? You met the national average for pass rates. Let me repeat that. Your performances rivaled that of selective high schoolers of all ages across the country. And you did it for free — without paying thousands for private tutors.
Sophomores, for the first time ever, you will start SAT prep in the spring. That’s right — you will be the most prepared Success Academy scholars ever for your SATs! Along with your GPA, this gives you two key numbers on your college applications. Think about that. You’ll head into junior year with completed AP exams and extensive SAT preparation. You will be unstoppable!
You’ve Got This!
I know this may all sound like a lot. You will learn a lot and make mistakes. So will I! It is what we do in those moments of failure and those moments when it gets tough that tell us who we are. Before you know it, every single one of you will be on stage for graduation. Every single one of you will get into a four-year college.
Embrace every opportunity, learn from your mistakes, and celebrate your successes. Let’s continue to have a great year!
Written by Dan Rojas, HSLA–Brooklyn Principal