Skip to content
New elementary schools opening in the Bronx. Learn more!
Mission Possible Blog >

A Bronx Mother Was Not Prepared for College, But Is Hopeful Her Daughter Will Be

I was born and raised in the Bronx and for most of my childhood and adolescence I attended failing schools. I, of course, didn’t know it at the time. I received good grades and passed all my classes. I sat in the front of the class because I loved learning. I thought I was a great student. Then I went to college and reality hit me. I didn’t know how to read to truly understand the deeper meaning of a book. Worse, I couldn’t properly write a paragraph – let alone an essay.

When my daughter, Iysis, was ready for kindergarten, I was determined not to let history repeat itself. My only mission was to get her into a great public school. Thankfully we won the lottery for Iysis to attend Success Academy Bronx 2. I have been amazed and shocked by her progress ever since. She knows how to write a short answer. She can also analyze books in great detail and has meaningful conversations about them. When she comes home from school, she teaches her 3-year-old brother everything she learned that day. It sounds like an exaggeration, but some days I feel that my 6-year-old daughter is learning in first grade what I learned in college.

Sadly, I have friends whose children attend failing schools because they don’t have better options in The Bronx. Our borough has 149 failing district schools! Iysis has a friend in a district school in the same grade and who has a lot of difficulty reading. Rather than give her the tools and support she needs, her teachers have made excuses; they say the girl can’t read because she has a learning disability. They have forced her parents to pay for additional tutoring because it is not offered at the school.

I went to Albany last week to let our leaders know that the failing schools crisis is real – but also to deliver a message of hope. There are great schools like Success Academy that are putting kids of all backgrounds on a successful path to college. Our leaders should look to these schools and build more like them.

Written by Rosemary Varona March 11, 2015

Generic filters

Enroll your child

We’re now accepting K-4 applications for the 2022-2023 school year.

Work with us

Build your career while making an impact at Success Academy.