Peter Montanez Dreams Big Because of Carver Center Youth Development Program

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I am a fourteen year old eighth grader attending Side by Side Charter School in Norwalk Connecticut. I have attended the George Washington Carver Community Center since I was in the third grade. I am now a member of Carver’s Junior Youth Development Program better known as the JR. YDP. I consider myself to be an intelligent person and I perform very well in school. With encouragement from my mother, father and the Carver, I am constantly striving to do my best, both inside and outside of school, while learning along the way.

I really like the fact that students involved in the Carver programs receive rewards like special trips, ice cream socials, pizza parties and other incentives, special activities, certificates, and treats when we have a good report card. Carver emphasizes the importance of behaving well in school as well as the importance of getting good grades so that you can become “college ready” and have many strong options once you complete high school. Carver celebrates our successes.

I consider myself very athletic, playing sports constantly in formal leagues or in various sports just for the fun of it. The sport that I enjoy the most is basketball but I am looking forward to playing football in the fall when I go to high school. In addition to sports, I also enjoy music; I am active in the school band and in the Side by Side School choir. I play the trumpet in the school band and I plan to continue band at the high school. Carver has been a big part of my life ever since the first day that I walked through the doors for the very first time. It has provided me with teachers and staff members who have made a difference in my life by teaching me and encouraging me to work hard and to strive to be the best that I can be.

I have gained many friends during my time at Carver and I have accomplished many achievements, including my grades and my overall attitude about my school work. Carver is where I began playing basketball, playing in its summer recreational leagues. In the Carver after-school program and in the sports program, I have learned to treat people with respect and to work cooperatively with others. Carver has, most importantly, taught me what it means to take responsibility for my actions.

Another important thing that Carver has taught me is that, if I have courage, I can achieve all of my goals with hard work and perseverance. The Carver teachers have taught me many important life lessons. They help me sort through any problem that I have, whether it is at home, in school, or with my peers. They sit down and talk with me about my life and they show concern about me in every respect. When we make a mistake, the staff will talk to us about what we can learn from a mistake rather than focusing on punishment. Carver is an important part of my life; they motivate and encourage us to set goals and to work hard. Because of my involvement in Carver, I have big dreams for a promising future and I know that I am off to a great start. Thank you all for making it happen, not just for me personally, but for all of the kids who attend the many Carver Programs.

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