When it came time to choose a college, Sakirah knew that she needed to select a school that would challenge her academically and meet her financial needs. Her AF Amistad High college counselor helped her decide on Central Connecticut State University—a school that has met both of those vital requirements and helped her grow as a student and a young woman. As she walks across campus, she senses the “Team & Family” she became accustomed to at Achievement First. Many fellow AF Amistad High alumni are now her Central Connecticut State University classmates. Students show their school spirit by wearing the university’s colors: the same blue and white she wore at AF Amistad High. She stays in touch with many alumni and with her Achievement First alumni counselor, and she has made many new friends from around the state and the country. For Sakirah, the college campus feels like her second home.
Sakirah hasn’t always felt comfortable with all aspects of college. Initially, the college set her schedule, which resulted in a workload that challenged her more than she had anticipated. Sakirah spoke regularly with her AF alumni counselor, who helped her identify a schedule that would fit her learning style and help her balance her coursework. Using this information, Sakirah advocated for herself with her campus adviser and was able to choose a schedule with which she is more comfortable. A business management major, Sakirah is looking forward to taking more major-specific classes in the years to come.
Throughout her college experience, Sakirah has felt the constant support of the AF Amistad High community. Her AF alumni counselor has helped her and her family navigate financial aid forms. Her counselor has also helped her identify weaknesses as a college student, so that she can learn and grow from them. Whenever she has a break from school, she knows she can always return to AF Amistad High, especially since there is always a homecoming event for alumni.
Favorite aspect of being an Achievement First alumna: “There are so many benefits. My AF alumni counselor helps me with so many things. When I struggled with a marketing class, she connected me with a marketing professional so I could shadow him for a day and learn more about the field. She always helps me find ways I can improve as a student. All of the check-ins show me how much the people at Achievement First really care about me and want me to succeed.”
Proudest moment: “My proudest moment as an AF Amistad High alumna has been breaking out of my shell. I am usually a shy person, but Achievement First helped me gain the confidence to make friends on my own and to try new things. At Central Connecticut State University, I went to an event and learned a Japanese style of dance called para para. Even though I learned that dancing is not one of my strongest points, it was exciting and fun to branch out and do something different.”