Posts Tagged With: Tamika Henry

Thank You Allendale, from Alexis Jimenez

Allendale Public Schools

What do you think of an alternative school? Well, don’t have the wrong impressions of them. All the people that go to them have different stories, so I, Alexis Jimenez, am going to tell you my story.

I’ve been that “new kid” quite a few times at schools since I’ve moved a few times, even out of the country. I’ve been to three different high schools since my freshman year. The previous schools I’ve been to are Kenowa Hills, which I attended from 5th – 9th grade. Then it was Jenison. I was there for all of 10th grade and only a few weeks when I was in 11th grade. That’s when I decided to make my choice to go to New Options.

It’s hard making new friends when you transfer schools, especially in high school where people in high school have friends since elementary school and know everybody. When I transferred to Jenison I didn’t fit in that well. I did try my best to make friends and even played sports to make friends. Day by day people would make fun of me or give me looks, so I changed myself. Who I was, my clothes, everything about me was different. It wasn’t who I was.

Alexis Jimenez, Allendale Public Schools, APS, New Options High SchoolAfter all that change it still didn’t cut it. I gave up and had enough of it by my junior year, and that’s when my brother had a talk with me and told me that I should go to New Options, so I took his advice. And honestly, going to New Options has been the best experience of my high school years.

Alternatives schools aren’t as bad as you think they are. Everybody has a story of why they go to them. My story was because of the lack of friends. I tried making them for so long I gave up, but at New Options, you make friends on the first day. The people are so nice and welcoming, here you can be considered family.

So don’t let a wrong impression of alternative schools fool you.

Categories: Allendale Public Schools, Summer Series | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Thank You Allendale, from James Troost

Allendale Public SchoolsMy name is James Troost. I am a New Options student that came from a local high school. I came to New Options in early February of 2013. I have so far enjoyed my experience with New Options and I plan  on staying until I graduate.

Everyone comes to New Options for a reason. It is not just a school that a parent would enroll their kid into to get a regular high school experience. That being said, I am going to share the reason I have ended up at New Options. At my old school I was very stressed out. I have been going through a lot of personal life problems that caused me to go off the deep end. School became so stressful for me to the point where I could not concentrate in any class. At one point, I am not entirely sure when, I just gave up on myself and started to ruin my own potential.

Now with me not caring about myself as far as school goes, my quality of life drastically went downhill. My parents really had no way of motivating me because if I don’t care about myself no one is going to be able to get me to care about school. Not caring was what I saw as the only way to relieve the stress that was brought onto me.

After my parents ran out of ideas to try to help me, they suggested that I just drop out. If I wasn’t going to do anything in school, there really is no point in going. I really could not do that to myself. Just taking all of my potential and throwing it into the garbage. I was not going tolet that happen. So then my parents suggested the idea of enrolling me into New Options. This just seemed like the best of both worlds. I am going to be able to graduate from high school but on top of that I am not going to stress myself out to the point where I can’t function. This is what I saw to be the best solution to my problem.

James Troost, Allendale Public Schools, APS, New Options High School

New Options, I feel, was created to help those in difficult times to get as close as possible to reaching their full potential. I find that it is doing that for me. The reasons I enjoy this school are simple. New Options helps me complete all of my assignments within the school hours, that way I do not have the stress of bringing loads of work home with me. That was a huge problem at my old school.

Another reason I really enjoy this school is because everyone here has their own story, their own reason for being here. That helps me stay motivated because now I know I am not the only one dealing with these problems. All of the teachers here truly want to see you pass with flying colors, and they are willing to do anything they can do to help you achieve that. And nothing is more important in school than teachers that care.

New Options is a place that I am happy going to. I personally feel that it is the reason I started to care about my life again. If anyone ever goes through what I went through, I would strongly recommend that you enroll as soon as possible. When you feel there are no options left, there is always New Options.

Categories: Allendale Public Schools, Summer Series | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

New Options Star Student: Katy Key

Star Student Katy Key, senior at New Options High School

When I asked New Options Assistant Principal Tamika Henry the first word that came to mind when thinking of senior Katy Key, she didn’t hesitate in answering.

Perseverance,” she said. “Katy has overcome a lot of difficulties to be able to graduate, but she has absolutely persevered.”

The joy was evident in Katy while we sat talking; her eyes positively sparkled. It’s obvious that she has worked hard and has made the choice to lean into a bright future that she can be proud of — a bright future that she’s built with the help of New Options.

Tamika continued, “Katy has a lot of character — a lot of integrity. She’s very honest and forthright. If she sees something that’s “not right,” she comes and talks to me. She still has fun…she’s still a teenager, but she makes the right choices. Katy really is a model student.”

For students like Katy, New Options is not their first high school home, but for many of them it becomes the one for which they’ve longed. It’s a place of smaller class-sizes, flexible learning atmospheres, and best of all, second chances.

New Options: A place for new stories to begin.

“My favorite thing about being a student at New Options,” Katy explained, “Is that it’s more laid back. There are smaller classes which makes it easier to speak to teachers. I needed that when I came here. This is a great fit for me.”

But of all the staff members who have reached out to Katy, it’s Tamika whose love has left the ripple effects of a changed life.  Katy looked over to Tamika, whose eyes blurred with emotion. Breathing deeply, Tamika shared how so many students over the years have returned to New Options, have sought her out, and have said, “Tamika, if it wasn’t for you guys, I wouldn’t have made it.”

Katy Key dreams of studying social work at Baker College next year.

Katy nodded in agreement. With just ninety kids enrolled, teachers are able to give the special attention that New Options students desperately need, whether that be in the form of new learning strategies or extra emotional support to those struggling through very difficult circumstances.

I asked Katy what she’s learned about herself while at New Options. She gave it some thought and then looked at me with hope glowing.

“I’ve learned that I’m able to achieve any goal as long as I put my mind to it.”

We believe she will!

We applaud Katy Key and wish her success as she presses on toward graduation and life beyond New Options.

Categories: Students in the Spotlight! | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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