CATEGORY: Students

Melissa Mar 19, 2024

At Achievement First Ujima High School in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Principal Nana Effah leads a vibrant community of ninth and tenth-grade students on a journey of academic excellence and personal growth. Ujima is named in honor of the third principle of Kwanzaa, which is “Collective Work and Responsibility,” and is guided by a mission to provide students from historically underserved communities with a top-quality education, prepare them for the rigor of college work, and help them flourish on college campuses and in their careers. AF Ujima High’s approach includes a thorough college-preparatory course of study, tutoring, intensive college and career counseling, and robust athletic and elective programs. Ujima High School also provides a variety of enrichment classes, including French, Dance, Fashion Design, Visual Art, and Music.  Join us on a chilly February morning as we shadow Michelle, a spirited tenth-grader balancing her roles as a cheer team member and a Team Operations intern. Through her day, we gain insight into the dynamic environment and opportunities offered at Ujima High.  Michelle's day kicks off with Dance II at 8:10 a.m. The studio buzzes with energy as students showcase their latest routines.  Transitioning to French I, Michelle dives into a captivating project—creating a culinary blog in French—a testament to Ujima's innovative approach to language education. Next, in ELA class, Michelle engages in reflective writing, exploring themes of identity and self-expression alongside her peers.  During a brief break, we chat with Michelle about her experiences on the Cheer team, her artistic pursuits outside of school, and her aspirations for the future. As Friday unfolds, the school gathers for "Celebrate Ujima" day—a quarterly tradition honoring academic achievements, cultural contributions, and personal growth. From academic honors to artistic performances, the event fosters a culture of support and recognition among students and staff. Amidst the cheers and applause, Michelle proudly accepts an award for her outstanding accomplishments. Witnessing the spirit of camaraderie and celebration at Ujima High, we depart inspired by Michelle's journey and eager to see what the future holds.  Follow their Instagram page for more glimpses into life at Ujima High School!

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