I have been at DSA for most of my cognizant life. I moved to the U.S. during my 4th grade and I remember the first day I walked into class I had Ms. Mellgren greet me at the door and show me around the classroom. I was a shy little kid who barely knew any English, had no friends, and very little interest in life outside of my home country. I missed my family, home, and routine. Everything around me was new. In many ways my first few years at DSA were really just me becoming accustomed to the United States??? system. I made new American friends, watched American television, and read American books. In high school, DSA came to represent something much different. After I had mastered the language, I was able to focus on becoming the person I wanted to be. I made sure to take as many Honors and AP classes as possible, and joined Chess, Cross Country, Track and Field, Journalism, Model United Nations, Student Council, and the National Honor Society. Yet, I would be lying if I said that the classes, or even the extracurriculars, are what I will remember in the long-term. The friendships and connections I made, having been surrounded by immigrant students such as myself, have shaped my personality entirely. My favorite memory is not the long nights spent studying for tests, but the time with my friends who have by now become a second family. My advice for younger students is twofold:?? find what you are passionate about and focus your time and energy on that rather than being average at many subjects, and remember to spend time with family and friends.
Senior Carmelo De Grazia hopes to attend Harvard or Boston College and study some field of journalism or writing.