Hollis Middle Schooler to Mayor: ‘Think of Other People’s Perspectives, Not Just Your Own’
**For Immediate Release March 18, 2021**
Michael Sherman, 201-306-9621
Sam Chafee, 401-368-5124
HOLLIS MIDDLE SCHOOLER TO MAYOR: ‘THINK OF OTHER PEOPLE’S PERSPECTIVES, NOT JUST YOUR OWN’
NEW YORK, NY – Fifth grader Mia Olivier is an avid dancer. She performs hip hop, African, and majorette dance routines at Success Academy Hollis Middle School, and loves music and expressing herself through dance, but also through words — which she channels through her English Language Arts class. She’s been at SA since kindergarten and speaks highly of her teachers.
“They trust us enough so we don’t feel pressured or babied, so we feel independent, because we’re starting to grow up,” she said. “They make learning fun.”
Mia’s teachers describe her as dedicated, hard-working and caring. She’s engaged in all her classes and genuinely enjoys the content, and you can tell when she learns surprising or new information.
While Mia has made meaningful connections with her teachers at SA Hollis Middle School, her time there is being cut short. Mayor de Blasio is evicting her and 250 of her peers from their school, which is co-located at IS 238. In doing so, he is breaking his promise and legal obligation to provide public charter school students a permanent space to learn free of charge.
“Honestly, I feel like he’s not cooperating with everyone, he’s just cooperating with one side of the world. He needs to think about everyone as a whole, and he needs to think about other people’s perspectives and not just his own,” Mia said of the mayor.
About 80% of the students at SA Hollis Middle School are Black. While the Hollis students have yet to take the NY state exams due to COVID-19, at Success Academy Springfield Gardens, the elementary school Mia attended last year, 88% of students passed the state ELA exam and 93% passed the state math exam making it the seventh highest performing K-8 school in all of Queens in 2019. Instead of removing barriers for Black children to excel academically, Mayor de Blasio is creating them.
ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY
Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 47 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 20,000 students, primarily children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% receive free or reduced-price lunch, 94% are students of color, 16% have disabilities, and 8% are English language learners. In 2020, 100% of SA’s third and largest class of 99 graduating seniors were accepted to college, with 22% accepted to highly selective and 47% to selective institutions, with robust financial aid packages; 82% of the class will be the first in their families to attend college.