Yale. Stanford. Harvard. Brown. Johns Hopkins. UChicago. Northwestern.
There are infinite thoughts which could cross one's mind after reading these names.
Extreme competition. Excellent academics. Money. Opportunity. Success.
What is considered less often is how Rockford Public Schools has prepared its students for these elite institutions and how RPS 205 has assisted its students in standing out among the highly competitive applicant pool.
There seems to be what can only be described as a stigma around RPS 205 schools.
There's a stigma that attending an RPS 205 school would automatically put a student at a disadvantage when it comes to applying to competitive schools, scholarships and jobs.
The reality is that this is far from the truth.
Each year students are admitted to great schools. Each year students receive amazing scholarships. Each year there are countless success stories among RPS 205 students and alumni which are simply not highlighted and celebrated the way they should be.
RPS 205 students are successful. RPS 205 is successful.
At the beginning of this week I reflected with my peers on what our experience as RPS 205 students proffered us. I quickly came to the realization that there are many things RPS 205 has given us and taught us.
Ethan Strombeck, a recent Auburn grad and incoming freshman at Stanford University, said that his time at RPS 205 taught him to be able to work efficiently with numbers and to think scientifically and logically. He credits the well-rounded course load which RPS 205 required of him.
"The required curriculum for core subjects pushed me to keep learning until I was proficient," Strombeck added.
Above all else, it has become apparent to me that RPS 205's greatest gift is its caring and committed teaching staff that push us to be the best that we can be.
"These teachers have gone above and beyond teaching course material to teach my peers and I how to be better people, and fight every day for what we believe in," said Melis Dik, Auburn class of 2019 valedictorian and incoming freshman at Johns Hopkins University.
"Above all, I believe that my teachers were an integral part of my experience and the guiding forces that allowed me to become more conscientious and empathetic, and to learn to think and act on my thoughts," said Wyatt Morris, recent Auburn grad and freshman at Northwestern University.
As I prepare to leave for my freshman year at Northwestern, I am forever grateful to RPS 205 for helping me become the person I am today.
Thank you Rockford Public Schools!
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