What ACE Means to Me by Dana Almonte

The Alternative Center is not only the fresh start that I needed but also the new beginning that I wanted. When I was younger approximately 10 years old and a fifth grader, I first heard about ACE. Not only was my sister attending this school, but many of my family members had previously attended ACE too. I heard many negative things about the school and also about “the type” of students that attended here, many of those things that I actually believed without giving the program a chance.

I went to Broadview Middle School all three years of junior high and since day one at BMS my life was surrounded with drama, fights, and unpleasant report cards. I always thought about dropping out when I turned 16 and I couldn’t wait – it was all I thought about, it soon became my hopes and dreams. At time I even thought that if I had a baby I could avoid going back to school. I didn’t care about my future, and I wasn’t interested in anyone’s advice or lectures. I hated school, I wanted to get out of there, and I didn’t care what it had to take.

At the end of my eight grade year, 2006, my guidance counselor told that she knew a place where I would fit right in and would change my out look on school for forever, this place was ACE. If it was as good as she made it seem, I thought, why not give it a chance? I came and I felt “the ACE Magic”- the family atmosphere, the one on one attention/ learning, and the friendly bond between teachers and students.

I’m glad to say that I’ve been attending the center since 2006 and I’ve loved everyday I’ve been here. My life has changed completely, my grades are up to par, and I’ve been on the honor roll twice since I’ve been here. I feel great about myself, my performance at school, and my life outside of the center, and I feel like I’m in control of my future – I even plan on going to college.