As the school year comes to an end students are excited to wrap up a unique and challenging academic school year. We recently interviewed a group of Aim high students and asked them to share their experiences during the pandemic and to reflect on last summer. Meet Jaqueline, a 7th grade student attending Live Oak School and an Aim High student. How have you shown strength and resilience throughout this past year? My grades. They didn’t go lower, and in some classes I even got higher grades than before. I feel like during these times I might get distracted by many things, but with hard work I can keep my grades up. I feel proud of myself for keeping my priorities straight and not letting myself down in these moments. What’s one thing that has brought you joy during the pandemic? Something that has brought me huge happiness during this pandemic was getting a new pet turtle, Bartholomew. We’ve had him for a few months now, and I can say that he has made a great addition to my family. He is also a great distraction, and is pure entertainment in times like these. He keeps us pretty busy, but nobody’s complaining. I can’t wait to see him grow up through the years, since he’s pretty. What’s one thing you learned last summer at Aim High? One important thing I learned last year in Aim High was that my voice matters and that I shouldn’t be afraid to be who I am. Something I have always struggled with in school is participation. I have a hard time participating, and I have had the worst troubles with it, especially verbal participation. But when I was in Aim High, it seemed almost exciting for me. I didn’t participate a whole lot, but I was able to raise my hand more times than I had difficulty with it, but I’m starting to try even harder to speak my thoughts, as I did in Aim High. What was your favorite part of Aim High this past summer? While at Aim High, I was able to try new activities that helped me show my creativity to my peers, as well as to my teachers. There was something new and different for each day, which made it so much fun. I felt welcomed and able to speak my mind and heart, as my own individual. Last summer at Aim High, you created a poster about the book “I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.” What inspired you to choose that book and create that poster? I created the poster through a theme I was able to choose—self-care. I chose self care because, just like the main character had trouble taking care of herself through difficult moments in her life, this pandemic has affected my self-care, and many people’s as well. What are your hopes and dreams for the upcoming year? I wish for this pandemic to be over, for leaders to start hearing out our protests (the good ones) for unity and not division, for our world to focus on other issues that are big or small. I wish for greater actions and decisions from people to make our world a better place. Human error and ignorance shouldn’t take away the chances we have to do what we’ve got to do and want to do. It’s just up to us. Aim High looks forward to seeing Jaqueline in a few weeks. We thank her for sharing her thoughts and experiences over the last year. To meet more Aim High students read our 2020 Annual Report.