I left this year’s Achieve Gala inspired by so many things, but especially the student leaders with whom I shared the stage that night. Among them, you met Serenity, a fourth-grade student from Fairview Elementary. After watching Serenity that night, it is clear that she will have a strong future. Today, I am honored to turn the Notepad over to her… – Verónica

Hi, everyone!

I am so excited to get a chance to write to you all! For those of you who were at the Achieve Gala, thank you for supporting me. The smiling faces in the audience that night definitely gave me the confidence to remember my lines. Getting to stand up on the stage in front of 1,000 people was indescribable. It meant so much to have all eyes on me and to be the leader of my own story.

I remember before walking on stage that night that I was scared and nervous. But Superintendent Boasberg put me at ease and I could tell right away that the audience supported me—and really liked my Shakespeare lines! Seeing all of my teachers there to cheer me on reminded me how lucky I am to be a student at Fairview Elementary. Having so many people stand and clap gave me a feeling I had never felt before! It meant a lot to see how many people cared about what I had to say.

Even though today I am only 9 years old, I have already talked with my friends about what we want to be when we’re adults one day. My friends want to be doctors, teachers, and even professional athletes and singers! It’s so fun dreaming about what we want to be. When I grow up, I want to work for the DPS Foundation because they have helped me and other kids like me so much. I want to be a part of that and give back to my school and other schools. Thanks to the DPS Foundation and my teachers and family, I am able to have dreams like this. I want to be somebody that matters and gives back and no one is going to stop me. For now, though, I am happy just using my special DPS Foundation pen in class and wearing my DPS hat and Achieve Gala t-shirt to school—which all of my friends want to have too! I still have a few weeks of fourth-grade left and there is always more for me to learn and more tests to take.

I hope to see you all again in a few years, maybe as the gala emcee! Thank you,

Fourth-grade Student, Fairview Elementary
Future President & CEO, DPS Foundation