Darlenny Rodriguez

Good Morning ladies and gentleman, my name is Darlenny Rodriguez and I am currently in 7th grade. Today I will share with you my life story.

Born in the Dominican Republic, my brothers and I went through a hard time. We didn’t have all of the opportunities that we have here, in the U.S. Once I got here, I grew up moving from place to place, so I never really got a chance to settle in. I grew up away from my mom, so that was really tough on me. I never really had that ideal female figure in my life. When my dad was my age he wanted to be a doctor and even though he went to college in Dominican Republic he never got a chance to finish because it was expensive and he had to take care of his six kids.

That’s when Breakthrough kicks in. I decided to join Breakthrough for a brighter future. To me, Breakthrough isn’t just an opportunity to study over the summer, its hope. It seems like a long time ago when I was just a student sitting in my sixth grade classroom, when suddenly we were called down for an assembly. I had no idea what the assembly was for, but I went along with it. To my surprise, it was a Breakthrough Presentation. After the presentation was over, right then and there, I knew that Breakthrough was the program for me. From that point on, my life has changed immensely, not only that, but my academics have grown too.

From Breakthrough, I’ve learned that it’s good to be different and to stand out in a crowd. This program has helped me believe that being different isn’t weird; you just have to be yourself. My teachers always tell me that I’m a handful, but I know they are always there for me.

The teachers are the figures in my life, the figure of my mother when she is not there, they are my friends and they are my family. At Breakthrough, the teachers and students have a certain bond that no one else has with you. Here at Breakthrough, we have had some exceptional teachers. Full of excitement and enthusiasm, every single day that they are present is very much appreciated. The teachers are what make up this amazing Breakthrough community. They have smiles on their faces every single day and if they see you upset, they would tell us to turn that frown upside down. From my perspective, I would have to say that the most important part of Breakthrough is the teachers.

Breakthrough makes me feel safe and not insecure about myself. Since I have been here, I have gained more self-confidence and continue to reach higher goals.

Now, you may think that Breakthrough is exactly like school, but in reality it’s not. The class sizes are smaller, and all of the kids are at your level so there is no one holding you back from learning. 

Since I’ve been at Breakthrough, I have developed immensely, from learning how to create structured paragraphs to developing my skills in public speaking. To add to this, we have excellent classes. We do hands-on activities and we get to do things that I normally wouldn’t get to do in Middle School. For instance, we got to dissect frogs.

The previous classes that I have taken have all led to my success in school. Take for example writing class. This school year I am being taught things that I have already learned at Breakthrough, so all I have to do is improve on it.

From All School Meeting (ASM) to PM circle, Breakthrough has it all. Energetic teachers and spirited students are what make up this supportive community. Not to mention, ASM is my favorite part of the entire day. 5 minutes before, I sit on the edge of my seat and start to count down. I just love chanting, because so many students have so much spirit. I enjoy being praised for doing the right thing, and when we make mistakes, we are understood.

Now, back to my story.

When I get older, I would like to attend Harvard University on a full scholarship. I know it seems like a long shot, but I am willing to work for it. Breakthrough is helping me with that also. I mean, I’m not going to be able to do it alone. Breakthrough is there and has dedicated to help me every step of the way. One day I am going to be a doctor like my dad wanted to be.

I would just like to take the time to thank my sixth grade teacher, Ms. Abbott. She was the one that was pushing me to get into Breakthrough, she even wrote me a letter of recommendation.

Besides this, I would like to thank all of my Breakthrough teachers and all of the people that have helped Breakthrough be the success that it is. Most of all, I would also like to thank Ms. Estefanny for helping me become more confident in myself. Overall, every staff at Breakthrough has done something in helping me.  Thank you for listening and being there for me.