Student Spotlight

Kailah, a rising 6th grader at West Rocks Middle School

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Describe your favorite memory at West Rocks.

“My favorite memory is meeting new friends and new people. I also like switching between different classes because we didn’t do that in elementary school.”

Who is your role model?

“My role model is Misty Copeland because she’s a dancer and I want to be a professional dancer when I grow up. I’ve been dancing since I was two years old. I like ballet and contemporary. I also want to be a therapist because I know how to calm people down well.

What is your biggest dream?

“To go to Bora Bora. I also want to go to Mexico or Peru.”

Describe an accomplishment that you’re proud of.

“I’m proud that I’ve made it this far in school and I haven’t had to stay back in anything. I’ve been getting good grades. My favorite subject is math.”

How has this program helped you prepare for middle school?

“I’ve gotten a chance to meet the teachers and learn their names. Now I know what they’re expecting from me. Also, we take science, math and ELA here which helps.”

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned at this program?

“To meet new people and not be shy.”

How would you describe this program to someone who doesn’t know what it is?

“It’s basically what you’re going to do in middle school, but afterwards you have three hours of fun!”

Bevelyn, a rising 6th grader at West Rocks Middle School

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Describe your favorite memory at West Rocks.

“I like when we go outside and do science experiments. Science is my favorite subject. We can get cool prizes like candy.”

Who is your role model?

“My role model is Camilla Cabello. I like how her vocals sound and I want to be a singer when I grow up so I look up to her. I started to like music at the end of third grade. I realized that I didn’t have to care what other people thought about my singing and that I could just sing for myself.”

What is your biggest dream?

“To be famous for singing.”

Describe an accomplishment that you’re proud of.

“I’m proud of my art. I used to be a very bad artist, and all my siblings were really good at art and I really like how they draw. So I started trying to get better and learning from them. I would practice making one drawing ten times and I got a lot better.”

How has this program helped you prepare for middle school?

“They teach us stuff that you learn in eighth or seventh grade even though we’re only going into sixth grade, so we get a big head start.”

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned at this program?

“To just have fun and not stress about the things that you don’t know. And if you don’t know something, just go over it with a teacher. The teachers are really helpful.”

How would you describe this program to someone who doesn’t know what it is?

“It’s very fun and there are a lot of activities to do.”

Max, a rising 6th grader at West Rocks Middle School

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Describe your favorite memory at West Rocks this summer.

“I really like science here. Science is my best subject. I like meteorology and biology.”

What do you want to be when you grow up?

“I want to be a scientist that makes cool inventions using technology. I have lots of ideas, like making a kangaroo pouch for humans. It could tie to your waist. I’d also like to be a meteorologist. Maybe I could be a storm chaser. I know it’s dangerous, but I’m not scared of tornadoes. Or at least, not until I see one.”

What is your biggest dream?

“To know anything and everything. I think I’m on my way there.”

Describe an accomplishment that you’re proud of.

“I’m proud of a drawing I made a few days ago that was the most realistic thing I’ve made. It was a drawing of myself.”

How has this program helped you prepare for middle school?

“It’s helped me to meet the teachers and learn where the classrooms are.”

Madelyn, rising 6th grader at Nathan Hale Middle School

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Describe your favorite memory at Nathan Hale.

“I really like playing games with my friends. It’s really fun. We play monopoly.”

Who is your role model?

“I really look up to my mom. She’s a nurse for premature babies. When I was little I always wanted to work with her.”

What do you want to be when you grow up?

“I want to be a nurse. I like science a lot.”

What is your biggest dream?

“I would want to travel the world. I want to go to Egypt, Italy, and Paris.”

Describe an accomplishment that you’re proud of.

“I’m proud of jumping off a cliff 40 feet high into a lake. I didn’t think I was going to do it, but I did! It was scary but I’m glad that I did it.”

How has this program helped you prepare for middle school?

“It’s made me feel more at home here. I’m not as nervous for middle school anymore.”

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned at this program?

“You always have to be nice to others and if you treat someone the way you want to be treated, they will treat you that way as well.”

How would you describe this program to someone who doesn’t know what it is?

“It’s a program where they offer breakfast and lunch and you get to learn different subjects. It helps you transition to middle school and feel more comfortable.”

Hailey, rising 6th grader at Nathan Hale Middle School

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Describe your favorite memory at Nathan Hale this summer.

“My favorite memory is the first science project we did here. We made tin foil boats and we had to see how many pennies they could hold. Mine could hold 51! I like science a lot.”

Who is your role model?

“It’s Joanna Gaines. She’s an interior designer. She has her own TV show and it’s really cool. I want to be just like her when I’m older.”

What do you want to be when you grow up?

“I want to go to school for business. Then I want to get a real estate degree and become a real estate agent. And then I want to open my own store that’s for interior design, but also have my own real estate company. A few years ago I made my own little real estate website.”

What is your biggest dream?

“To get a dance solo and to win first place at a competition. I do basically every kind of dance.”

Describe an accomplishment that you’re proud of.

“I’m proud of winning most improved dancer on June 1. I felt amazing when that happened. Since it’s my first year on the team, I think that people will think of me in a different way now.”

How has this program helped you prepare for middle school?

“It’s been really useful to learn how to make your way around the school.”

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned at this program?

“To pay attention. And I learned how to open a locker which will be really important next year!”

How would you describe this program to someone who doesn’t know what it is?

“It’s a program where you learn but have fun at the same time.”

Kevin, rising 6th grader at Nathan Hale Middle School

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Describe your favorite memory at Nathan Hale this summer.

“I liked going outside and playing wiffle ball. I also like watching movies here.”

Who is your role model?

“My role model is Derek Jeter because he is a leader. He always did what he was supposed to do and he always played very well. He’s one of my favorite baseball players and I want to be like him when I grow up.”

What do you want to be when you grow up?

“I want to be either a baseball player or a football player. I love sports and I want to be part of the Hall of Fame.”

What is your biggest dream?

“I want to make a really cool catch in the touchdown end zone.”

Describe an accomplishment that you’re proud of.

“I’m proud of making it to middle school. I was really happy when I graduated from fifth grade and I’m excited for middle school.”

How has this program helped you prepare for middle school?

“It has helped by showing me around the school and doing the work that we’re going to be doing. All our teachers will be surprised by how much we know when school starts. I used to hate math, but now I really like it because it’s starting to get fun and easier for me.”

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned at this program?

“To follow directions, be a leader, and have fun.”

How would you describe this program to someone who doesn’t know what it is?

“It’s a fun transition program where you work hard.”

Student Spotlight: Lirik

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Interviewed by: Hanna Tulchinsky

Q: Can you describe your favorite memory at Carver?

Lirik: My favorite memory was when we went to Lake Compounce during summer camp. It was awesome! We went on rides and we swam. My favorite part was buying souvenirs. I bought a cardholder to put my Pokemon cards in.

Q: Who is your role model?

Lirik: My role model is Ms. Cherae, a teacher at Carver. She’s kind, caring, and always determined. I want to become a writer, and when I become successful I’m going to buy her a buffet meal!

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Lirik: You know, they say if you do something you love, you never work a day in your life! That’s why I want to be a writer. It’s my dream. I want to go to Fairfield University and get a degree in writing. I want to write all types of novels, but mainly adventure and suspense stories for kids. I have a bunch of favorite writers who mesmerize me with their stories. I want to be able to do that too for other kids. My favorite authors are James Patterson, Jeff Kinney, and Suzanne Collins.

Q: What is your biggest dream?

 Lirik: My biggest dream is to write a New York Times #1 bestselling book that will be remembered forever. Like Moby Dick but combined with something suspenseful and humorous like Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Q: Can you describe an accomplishment that you’re proud of?

Lirik: I had high honors all four quarters.

Q: What is the most important lesson that Carver has taught you?

Lirik: From Carver, I’ve learned that the greatest memories don’t have to be at the best places or on the greatest holidays. The greatest memories can happen any day, anytime, anywhere.

Q: How would you describe Carver to someone who doesn’t know what it is?

Lirik: It’s the kind of program where you’re going to have lots of adventures and meet lots of people.

Hanna's Blog to continue with support from Greenwich Academy

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Starting last summer, volunteer Hanna Tulchinsky, class of 2020 at Greenwich Academy, has been interviewing students participating in Carver programs. The initial stories were of those students who attended Carver’s 2018 Summer Enrichment Program for grades K to 5 (ages 5 to 13) located at the Carver Community Center. Since then Hanna has continued to profile students in Carver’s after school programs this year.

Hanna’s storytelling is available here on this dedicated Carver blog. Hanna’s reporting gives us all a glimpse into the goals and accomplishments of Carver kids.

Additionally, Hanna has created thank-you videos for Carver donors and other videos that document Carver events.

Hanna’s good work caught the attention of the Greenleaf Foundation at Greenwich Academy, which just awarded Carver a grant of $1,000 to support Hanna’s continued volunteer work for Carver, particularly her reporting and videos this coming summer.

Established in the year 2000, the Greenleaf Foundation’s mission is “to effect positive change in the community by funding programs that focus on issues impacting young people in need, especially girls.” Carver is grateful to Greenwich Academy for encouraging volunteerism among its students and now for the school’s foundation providing financial support of Hanna’s excellent work to promote the Carver mission and capture the stories of Carver kids.

Student Spotlight: Kobe

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Interviewed by: Hanna Tulchinsky

 Q: Can you describe your favorite memory at Carver?

 Kobe: One of my favorite memories is from one of the first times I came here. We were playing five-on-five basketball, girls versus boys, and we just goofed around. We weren’t playing seriously– we were just having fun the whole time, and it was amazing.

 Q: Who is your role model?

 Kobe: My biggest role models are my two older brothers. They are two different parts of me. The middle brother loves gaming, and my oldest brother loves basketball. He was so obsessed with it that he actually went to college to play basketball! But both of my brothers helped create the person I am now because one of them taught me about gaming and the other taught me about basketball.

 Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

 Kobe: I want to major in electronic engineering. At my elementary school, we had a program where we could do robotics which I loved. That really inspired me to be an electronic engineer. But honestly, I’d love to be a professional basketball player, either overseas or in the NBA. They say that you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than getting into the NBA. But to be able to do what I love at the professional level is a goal for me.

 Q: What is your biggest dream?

 Kobe: My biggest dream is to be a professional gamer and own a company that creates games with my brother. Starting a new business will be hard, but I’m willing to work for it.

 Q: Can you describe an accomplishment that you’re proud of?

 Kobe: I had high honors for all four quarters last year.

 Q: What is the most important lesson that Carver has taught you?

 Kobe: It has taught me that with hard work and dedication, things will work out. The first time I ever played basketball was here. Because of all the practice I’ve had at Carver I’ve been able to play on competitive basketball teams.

 Q: How would you describe Carver to someone who doesn’t know what it is?

 Kobe: Honestly, when I first started coming here and people explained to me what Carver was, they didn’t do it justice. They said it was a fun place, but it’s so much more fun than I thought it could be. I never get bored here. You do your homework, you talk, you eat snacks, and you play with your friends. It’s a really good experience.

Student Spotlight: Trinity McFadden

Five RIT/NTID students were named the university’s first Maguire Scholars. Pictured, from left to right, are Ethan Misal, Nathan Murray, RIT/NTID President Gerry Buckley, Cameron Carey, Trinity McFadden and Ty Brady. Photo credit:  A. Sue Weisler

Five RIT/NTID students were named the university’s first Maguire Scholars. Pictured, from left to right, are Ethan Misal, Nathan Murray, RIT/NTID President Gerry Buckley, Cameron Carey, Trinity McFadden and Ty Brady. Photo credit: A. Sue Weisler

The Carver community abounds with successful students. Trinity McFadden achievements keep inspiring us all.

Trinity is a first-year criminal justice major at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is among the inaugural group of Maguire Scholars, an academically based scholarship valued at $5,000 per year. This is by no means the first scholarship awarded to Trinity. During her high school years at Brien McMahon High School she won a scholarship to study in Japan with the Center for Global Studies. Upon graduation in 2018, Trinity won many scholarships, including from Carver the DeAndre Parks Scholarship, which is given to the Carver student with the highest GPA. Other awards included the Norwalk Lions Club Scholarship, the Greenfield Everyday Heroes Award, and the BMHS Alumni Association Scholarship.

We just learned that Trinity is being recognized at her school’s annual Senior Luncheon. The seniors recognize one student from each class. Trinity also made the Dean's List with a 4.0 GPA, and she was invited to join the school’s Honors Program. Trinity is learning Russian sign language as an elective, and will be traveling to Russia for three weeks in May as part of the curriculum.

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Years ago, we asked Trinity to write an essay about herself and her experience to date at Carver. Here is what she had to say. Read this and you’ll realize why she is a hero to many of us who know and admire her story.

My name is Trinity McFadden and I am a thirteen-year-old, eighth grade student at Ponus Middle School. I started in the Carver C.A.S.P.E.R program in the middle of my fifth grade year; I am now a member of the Junior Youth Development Program. I am a high honors student at Ponus with a 4.0 GPA, which means I have an A average.

I am a hard working, intelligent person and my school work is very important to me for many different reasons. In addition to wanting to make my family proud of me, I was born with a progressive hearing loss and, if you listen to me talk, you will notice that I speak with a lisp. When I talk, my tongue does not always move, which at times creates articulation challenges for me. Because of this it makes me a little hesitant whenever I am asked to give a speech. However, I refuse to allow this challenge to interfere with my goals and with my day-to-day functioning inside and outside of school.

Having speech and hearing concerns presents its own set of challenges for me, but these issues do not prevent me from pursuing my dreams and working hard in school and achieving.

Participating in programs at Carver make me forget about my speech and my hearing issues. At Carver, I am comfortable, everyone knows me, and it’s like a second family to me! The Carver staff and students accept me for who I am and they treat me the same as anyone else; they have high standards and expectations for me, regardless of my hearing and my speech issues. I try very hard to achieve success because I want to be a role model for other students who may have a disability. There are many students who may be deaf, have a hearing loss or are hard of hearing; I want them to know that they can also be successful despite their disability. I work hard at being a confident person to set an example for them as well as for others.

The Carver has played a major role in my life. I attended the C.A.S.P.E.R. program, the Junior Youth Development Program and I have also attended the Carver summer camp. I enjoyed being in the summer program; it was also a big benefit to my parents because they were able to find an affordable summer enrichment plus recreational program for me during the summer months while they worked. While enrolled in C.A.S.P.E.R. I learned Lacrosse, and I received a scholarship to attend Camp New Pond Farm in Ridgefield, CT. I was away from home for a week and we lived on a farm, and got a chance to see and care for the farm animals and eat fresh eggs. It was a great experience and I enjoyed it very much! Carver offers so many programs. For example, I am a member of LEAP, which is an amazing Leadership program, and I am so fortunate to have all of the opportunities Carver provides. I hope that my leadership inspires other students, particularly those with a disability, for many years to come.

All these years later, Trinity’s accomplishments and example indeed continue to inspire us all.