by Georgia Charter Schools Association
[Editor’s Note: Brandon Hills, a 2011 graduate of Amana Academy, a Fulton County charter school, wrote this letter of thanks to his alma mater and the teachers who inspired him. We share it with you during National Charter Schools Week (May 3-9) and Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8).]
Dear Amana Academy:
You may have heard by now that one of your alumni received a full-ride to study at Harvard University as an undergraduate. Well, what you have heard it true! I have been accepted into Harvard’s Class of 2019, with the aforementioned scholarship.
I studied at Amana Academy since its founding in 2005, and spent 6 years learning and growing underneath its roof.
I must mention that the time I spent as a fledgling student in your institution has been one of the most forming times in my life. At Amana I found role models in my fantastic and loving teachers, discovered a passion for Arabic and Middle Eastern study, and built friendships across ethnic and religions lines among the diverse student body.
The background in Arabic I received from your program was a huge asset for me and a driving force into my passions. I studied Arabic at a program in Utah and won a State Department scholarship to study Arabic in Morocco, both of which were catalyzed by the Arabic background I gained at Amana.
I owe much to Amana — to those proud founders who dreamed of it, and to the tenacious teachers and faculty who invested in it and molded it along the way, developing it to become the wonderful institution that it is.
Every needs a childhood home, a home for the heart. A place that is filled with memories and laughter. Amana Academy has given this to me and has played an integral role in form me into an inquisitive and curious scholar. For this I thank you.
After Harvard I hope to enter the field of diplomacy, with a focus on building bridges between the Middle East and the United States. I attribute these aspirations to the influential instructors and ethnically diverse peers I encountered at Amana. Thank you for your unparalleled program and for all the work you do to make my alma mater the incredible school that it is.
Amana will always be a part of who I am, and because of this, I will do my best to represent it at Harvard and anywhere else I may go afterwards.
Brandon Hills – Amana Class of 2011