My name is Habakkuk Cooper-Thompson and I’m a freshman that attends a magnet school called the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience (CSMB) in St. Louis City. Prior to Collegiate my mom and I had a few experiences with school choice. I attended a private school however it was not the right fit for me. Next we moved on to public school however my mom still did not feel that I was getting a high quality education. At that point my mom pulled me out of school and home schooled me for a while. That’s when I started at KIPP Inspire Academy a St. Louis Charter school.
I was recently promoted from KIPP Inspire Academy to the CSMB. As a freshman I currently have a 3.0 in school and when I finished the school year at KIPP I had a 3.74. I’m sharing my grade point averages with you because that was not always my story. I developed GRIT at KIPP! I transferred to KIPP Inspire Academy in 5th grade with test scores in the 7th percentile in math and the 1st percentile in reading (according to the Northwest Evaluation Association.) Scores this low can become a barrier for many students. KIPP helped me to overcome this barrier through a combination of academic and character development. KIPP has taught me with hard work, I can accomplish anything.
I put in a lot of hard work, I allowed my teachers to coach me and trusted my mom who was determined to give me the best possible education. By 7th grade I grew to the 60th percentile in math and 55th percentile in reading. I’ve been able to do everything that was needed for me to attend the CSMB with plans to become a pediatric oncologist or forensic scientist.
CSMB is tailored toward the medical and science careers. I’m taking geometry, honors English, and honors physics. Most students don’t take these classes until they are a sophomore in high school. Collegiate is a family. We are all made up of different cultures and colors from all over the city of St. Louis City and County area. We all come from many different life experiences. We all teach each other daily and work really well together as a family.
I am very thankful to God for using KIPP to make a difference with so many families within the St. Louis area. We will be forever grateful for us having a choice of the schools that I’ve been able to attend.