The year was 2006. I was new. I was nervous. I was starting high school. I was four-years away from being a high school graduate and enrolling in college. With August quickly approaching, the famous line in Robert Redford’s The Natural kept popping in my head… “Welcome to the majors, Mr. Hobbs.”
And I can say now, looking back on that first day of school at R.L. Turner High School, my four years being part of one of your high school academies changed my life. Little did I know the classes I took, the people I met, and the experiences I had would shape me as a person forever.
For the first time in my life I was taking classes I wanted to take. It did not even feel like school. I was getting to learn in an environment that was aligned to my passions and dreams.
Ever since I was a little kid I loved film. I could quote any line, name any actor, and I could tell you all the behind the scenes anecdotes that would make Roger Ebert blush. And for the first time in my life, I was taking actual classes that taught film techniques and how to make my own film. Something I had always wanted to do. It was now a reality.
Not only did I learn film theory, but I took classes that immersed me in the technology that professional moviemakers were using on a Hollywood set. We learned by doing, and what we did is make movies that rivaled the professionals. I was now Steven Spielberg! I felt like a professional.
One of the best parts of the classes is that I was learning with like-minded peers. We all had a passion for this stuff, which made us soul mates. I had finally found kids just like me. I could finally talk to someone about film for hours without putting him or her to sleep. Our passions were shared. Our passions fueled the great things that were happening in the classroom.
I realized what academies work is there is a collection of passionate people pursuing their dreams. We all lifted each other up. We became best friends. We became a family. A family I am still in contact with today.
Academies are not like normal classes. They come with awesome experiences. Field trips, guest speakers, overnight, out of state trips, and having the ability to interact with professionals through internships and mentorships throughout your four years in the academy.
My favorite experience was the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah that was founded by Robert Redford and has become the largest festival in the United States. Anyone and everyone who was part of the Hollywood industry attended, and so did R.L. Turner High School and the Academy for Media Arts and Technology.
For one week, myself and a group of 11 other students got to watch independent film, share conversations with working film directors and actors, and got to hear from industry insiders on how they go about their craft. It was one of the best experiences in my life! And I know for a fact, that my friends in AMAT and other academies felt the same way about their experiences.
My friends in other academies traveled all over the world interacting with countless industry professionals. My peers in the Business Academy might go to the New York Stock Exchange one year, and my friends in the Law Academy might examine the legal process at courthouses all over Texas.
NASA, Nike, Apple, NBC… the list goes on and on experiences we had. “Oh, the places you will go….” Kid, you’ll move mountains!
I end this letter just wanting to say thank you, CFBISD. Thank you for changing my life. Thank you for shaping my career. And thank you for helping me expand my passions!
There is no other experience in high school quite like CFBISD’s academies. I strongly encourage all students thinking about pursuing one of their awesome programs to do so. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER!!!
CFBISD Graduate 2010
To learn more about our awesome academies including AMAT, BioMed, Law and Criminal Justice, the International Business Academy, and METSA by visiting our academy website at www.cfbacademies.com