By Jake Lukens
Madison High School junior
There was a time when my nerves nearly consumed my every waking thought. High school was a daunting idea as a thirteen year old, as I’m sure it was for everyone faced with this monumental transition. I was never truly prepared to face what was to come. Frankly, it was awhile before I came to the conclusion that Madison was the school that I was to attend in the fall of 2014. I had no real idea of what to expect within the walls of the school that stood atop the hill along the ever restless 82nd.
Walking in, I knew practically nobody, excluding the single person I took refuge with for the first few days. I found myself in a practically foreign place, alone yet impressed. The art that flooded the halls captivated me as the many faces surrounding me took in the new addition to their school. Those first few weeks, I was totally transformed by this school. The teachers here are like no other.
They show up as you wish them to, knowledgeable, respectable, and energetic. They make you feel a sense of connectedness. Never have I had teachers that pull us together, create a common goal for us to strive for, and help us deliver on every level. But naturally, no school environment is flawless. Flaws are always prevalent, but the way they are handled through the caring and understanding practice of Restorative Justice is something I was never familiar with until a freshman class of mine was supplied with it.
The amount of support you can find within this school is tremendous. You can really feel just how truly those who work here want you to succeed even when you yourself don’t believe it’s possible.
You never really seem alone here because there’s always a place for you and someone to offer aid.
Madison is filled to the brim with electives that cover numerous subjects, and from clubs like QSA, Black Student Union, and La Raza Unida, this school strives in ensuring a place for all. I can say that the latter months of 2016, there was a great amount of fear radiating through the halls I first became so captivated with. People from all walks of life that inhabit this single student body felt a sense of dysfunction. I quite honestly have to applaud those that really made the effort to show just how much support this school has to offer. Posters are created and signed to show that this school represents a stronghold against bigotry, sexism, and racism. Despite any fears, ferocity, or distress, this school has provided a sanctuary.
Coming into this school, I didn’t know what would become of me and what I would walk into. But Madison is hands down the best school I believe I could have ever chosen. I have no doubt that the diversity that this school holds really opens eyes to all that please to settle theirs upon it. Over thirty languages is no mere quantity. I’m so thankful that I took the opportunity to enter this school.
The cohesiveness is clear and the diversity is strong and because of that, I’ve grown into a person I can only hope the world will be happy to have enter adulthood, for I have gained an open mind and a strong willed heart. I owe it all to Madison.