My journey to PULSE
By Olga Morales
I was in John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx. It is a mainstream high school; my experience there was not so good. For example, it is a huge school! There are eight schools in one building, more than 2000 students! The school was so huge and the education was not so great – I felt overwhelmed. Teachers had to teach about 30 or more students in one classroom; I did not get the learning tools that I needed in order to pass a class. Being in a huge school, with so many students, so many different schools, so many distractions it was hard to learn. In my opinion, the school was only based on taking the NYS Regents Exams. It was not based on actual learning and getting the information that I could use for day-to-day life and in the future. I would go to school late, cut all day in the girls locker room, then leave early and go home. Not one person dared to encourage me enough to stay and go to class. It became a habit for about 3 years. The atmosphere in that school was not one where I could succeed.
I found out about PULSE high school, which is an alternative school in the bronx, that helps students one-by-one to graduate. In the summer of 2015 my middle school teacher, Ms. Ware, introduced me to PULSE High School. Ms Ware is a wonderful person, she has always tried to helped me to become the best person I could be. I remember her texting me and asking, “How I’m doing” and asking me how school is going. Of course I had told her that it was not going so well and that I wished I could turn myself around and start doing well. Ms. Ware made one phone call and told me I have an interview for PULSE High School the following week. When that day came I had got all my papers ready, got mother up early, and we went to the interview. I was really nervous being in a new place knowing I would have to discuss why I was in such a weak position. During the interview, I had to face three teachers from PULSE High School; they seemed to ask me the same questions over and over in different ways. It came to a point during the interview that I started to cry, not because I was nervous , but because I was scared of starting over, of being so far behind, and that maybe I would not be chosen to join PULSE.
On September 9th’ 2015 , my first day in me new school, I sat down quietly in the cafeteria waiting for some assistance to help me find my way around. I was again a new girl in school with new teachers , students and staff, not knowing anyone . . . I wondered if I made the right decision. As I was looking around I realized that the school was small, the teachers were friendly and that every student in the building wanted to achieve as much as I did. It did not take me long to get comfortable and starting to interact more. PULSE has given me a chance to reinvent myself. It has provided me with p.m. classes, Saturday School, Girls Group, and a program called “Learning to Work” ( LTW) which helps students find jobs, apply to colleges or a trade school that best fits them. The teachers were great! They helped me by giving me specific attention, even after school when necessary. They made sure I understood the work that was givin to me, they pushed me and made sure I did not give up. PULSE has taught me a lot about