U.S. News and World Report ranked Amistad Academy the No. 1 high school in Connecticut and #20 in the nation. What’s it like to attend Connecticut’s top high school? Achievement First sat down with an AF Amistad High senior to find out.
What is your favorite thing about going to school at Amistad?
The best thing about it is the support I get from all of my teachers. Teachers really push you to work hard, and they are very understanding. I also had a lot of female teachers in science and math, and they showed me that women could do well in fields where we are underrepresented.
What are the academics and extracurriculars like?
Our classes are difficult, there are a lot of A.P. classes, but we work hard and do well. It feels like we are showing people that we can excel, when we’re given the opportunity. I really enjoy the sciences, which is one big reason why I want to go into nursing. For extracurricular activities, we have a lot of different options. There is student government, senior committee, the student advocacy group, drumline, and Wolf Watch, our television station. We also have a full sports program. I loved being a member of the soccer team for three years. It really boosted my confidence and gave me another reason to love school.
You mention A.P., and all students at AF Amistad High take Advanced Placement classes. That is something that makes the school different, right?
Definitely. I am proud of that. Not everyone has that opportunity. Some people automatically think that kids from New Haven and Bridgeport wouldn’t excel in A.P. classes. But, we do. When I think about my three best friends that I started out with in this school with, we’ve all taken A.P. classes and done well, and now we’re ready to go on to great colleges.
What did it feel like when you learned Amistad was ranked the #1 high school in the state?
I was really happy. It’s a big deal, especially since we’re all minorities. Our No. 1 ranking feels like we are proving people wrong. I want people to know that I am a woman of color and I am smart, but I am not an exception. In fact, all of my classmates have been accepted to college. My friends are choosing great schools.
Diamond will attend the University of Richmond in the fall, where she plans to study nursing.