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How I spent my summer at Bell Smarter Summers

By Said Chacon

Rising 9th Grader, Frederick Middle School

During the school year, I go to school at the Frederick Middle School. It is right down the street from my house so I can walk to school, which I enjoy. My favorite subject is Humanities, because it allows me to connect my passion for history and writing. Although I do not like reading, writing and thinking is a different story. When I have the creative freedom to express myself, my writing is limited edition.

Said Chacon My principal recommended that I attend Bell Smarter Summers, so that I can prepare for the next grade. The program was fun. My favorite thing about the program was the leadership and staff. Teachers tried to make sure that I understood the material and the coordinators made the experiential learning activities relevant to my life.

I thought summer school would be like a traditional summer school. You go to class, they teach, than you go home- that’s all. BELL is different because it’s a constant reminder that I am student who is a scholar, intelligent, and unique- that is apart of the pledge we say everyday. Crazy thing is, the more you say it the more you believe it. I believe it. My favorite thing about the program was the field trips. It allowed us to have fun and we weren’t being caged inside a classroom - we were able to be free and ourselves.

Well, at first, if I’m going to be honest, I did not like the program the first day. I needed the credits so I had to go. But a few weeks into the program, I realized how important it is. I continued to go everyday, not only for the credits, but because of the relationships I developed with my peers and the BELL staff.

If I weren’t at the BELL program, I would be hanging with family or friends or at a different summer school trying to make up the credits I missed.

I get asked what I want to be when I grow up a lot and over the course of my life, I always find new answers to that question. But now finally, I figured out that I do not know what I want to be when I grow up and I am ok with that. Who does? However, I do know I am going to graduate from a 4-year college. Which college? I am not sure yet.I know I want to study Philosophy. I don't know where I am going to school yet, but I hope I get into a school that’s a perfect fit for me.

I would tell my peers that BELL is nothing like any other summer school program and they will be blown away by the amount of people that care for you.

When I was at my summer program, I felt so different. See, when I was at the Frederick, I was kind of an introvert and I had a lot of trouble with all my subjects, even the ones that I liked, for example--- humanities. I stopped trying.

However, after going to Bell I became more social, I felt more engaged, and I felt like I was better understanding the lesson. I am a lot smarter. I feel as though the people at BELL wanted to help me and care for my future.

I improved a lot academically since attending a summer program. I feel that the tactics used at BELL was different than the ones at school. BELL staff are focused on you individually and the classrooms are smaller so it's easier to focus.

That was my summer learning experience.

Said now attends Madison Park in Roxbury.