In every school there are hundreds of stories of perseverance, triumph, and amazing growth. Angel’s story is one of those. We sat down with Angel, a third-grader at AF Aspire Elementary, and one of his teachers, Whitney Neitzel, to hear his story.
When did you come to Achievement First, and what was it like for you?
Angel: When I first came to Achievement First Aspire I daydreamed a lot, and I used to get angry. My worst class was writing, because I really didn’t know what to do.
Ms. Neitzel: This is my first year teaching Angel, but he’s been here since first grade. I know he struggled a lot—including at the beginning of this year—with getting really frustrated in class.
What is different now?
Angel: I feel changed. A lot is different for me now in school. The work is easier for me, and I don’t daydream as much. My teachers and my classmates are helping me and showing me different ways to control my anger and take deep breaths. I love what I am learning, especially in math class. We are using a ruler and learning about different measurements.
Ms. Neitzel: Angel is just one of the brightest, biggest role models in our class. He’s grown so much, and that’s also reflected in how he’s done academically. An advanced reading level for this grade is Level T. Angel is now at a Level W.
Wow! What has made such a difference in reading?
Ms. Neitzel: You can really see how Angel enjoys discussing ideas within books. It is really fun to have these higher-level, meaty conversations with Angel. He has a lot of insights about foreshadowing and other elements of what he’s reading.
Angel: I really like reading. My favorite book that I read this year is “Aliens Stole My Body.”
What is your favorite thing about yourself?
Angel: My favorite thing about is myself is if I do something wrong, I just learn from it, and the next day I always have a good day.
What do you think, Ms. Neitzel?
Ms. Neitzel: I can’t pick just one! My first favorite thing about Angel is his humor. He always does funny impressions and knows how to make us laugh. My second favorite thing is just the level of ownership he takes toward everything he does.
What’s next for you, Angel?
Angel: I have three things I want to be when I grow up: the president, a soccer player, or a YouTuber. I want to be the president because I want to make the world a better place and fix what’s wrong. I also can run, and I’m practicing soccer. I think I would be a good YouTuber because I want to do something with purpose in entertainment.
Ms. Neitzel: I am so proud of Angel. I feel confident he will be successful in whatever he chooses one day!