Continuing the Trend

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There’s something particularly satisfying about knowing that what you do actually means something to people. As some of you may know, I spend a lot of my time working with high school students to help them graduate and prepare for their post-high school life. These are students that are usually overlooked by their teachers and are considered too far gone for help, but, honestly, that’s not what I see at all. One of the schools I work at has one of the worst reputations in their county, but this school has quickly turned into one of our best! The kids at this school are some of the most loyal, loving, and helpful teens that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Simply said, I love them to death and I can’t get enough of them at each meeting we have.

Last year, I shared with you all the great experience of seeing all of my seniors from this school walking across that stage and graduating in their red cap and gowns. This year, I’m happy to share that the graduation rate for our target group at this school went from 35% to 70% in just one year. Sometimes it’s hard to realize how much of a difference you’re making, but I definitely see glimpses of it when I see my students asking questions, showing me their report cards, or simply showing their appreciation. Knowing that the graduation rate is reflecting this positive change solidifies the importance of what I do and shows the county the importance of what my organization does. I just couldn’t be more proud!

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About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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