Skip to content
SA Together Again: We’re back in classrooms and taking learning to new levels!

Mission Possible

Stories and insights on excellent education.

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


Related posts

“Happy Children Learn Better” – An SA parent reflects on the return to campus

October 7, 2021 Success Academy

Success Academy reopened its doors to scholars across the city in August, safely ushering students back into the classroom after an unprecedented 2020-21 school year. To keep our scholars safe — and learning — it’s more important than ever that we work together with families and guardians to ensure everyone in our community is on... Read more

Back to Basics: 3 Ways Parents Can Help Scholars Adjust to In-Person Learning

October 4, 2021 Success Academy

The school year is well underway, and it is so exciting to be together again in our classrooms. We love seeing scholars connect face-to-face and participate in hands-on science labs, team sports, and theatre productions alike. Nevertheless, we know returning to a new or unfamiliar learning space can be a challenging transition, and scholars might... Read more

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

September 29, 2021 Success Academy

The deadly pandemic that forced children to isolate and learn remotely has only deepened painful issues of inequity. All around us, there is profound learning loss and lack of access to equitable resources. At Success Academy, we have a special obligation to get back on track and ensure that our students realize their full potential,... Read more

Enroll your child

We’re now accepting K-4 applications for the 2021-2022 school year.

Work with us

Build your career while making an impact at Success Academy.