Achievement First Hartford grads tell their own stories on “precedent-setting” Senior Signing Day

“I will defy stereotypes.”

“There are thousands who aren’t fortunate to attend a college prep school.”

“I am going to branch out of my comfort zone.”

“I’ve faced a lot of adversity growing up in the inner-city .. but going to college is a great feeling.”

“I am going to put a smile on my mother’s face.”

“I am not average.”

“I am not a statistic.”

“I am going to change the world – not in theory but through real actions.”

These are just some of the words from Achievement First Hartford High School’s first graduating class, who celebrated Senior Signing Day recently at The Bushnell.


Dean of College Services Karen Prager called the day’s celebration “historic” as this is the first cohort of students from the school to graduate. And then she turned the mic over to the students saying they will be the “author of their own story.”

The 36 proud graduates shared moving tributes to the people close to them who helped get them to this point – and after telling their stories each one held up a t-shirt from the school they’ll be attending this fall. Many will be the first in their families to attend college. A bunch of students will be attending college in their home state, choosing various campuses of U-Conn. Some of the AF grads will be attending colleges including Tufts, Adelphi, Wellesley College, Delaware State, Trinity College, among many others. 


One college-bound senior, the last young lady to speak, thanked her family, friends, teachers and three-year old daughter for helping her get to this point. Her parents held up her young daughter in the crowd as she waved, and later the little girl joined her mother on stage. It was an emotional moment and it was impossible not to smile at this young woman’s achievement.

These students beamed with pride and confidence – and it is well-deserved.


With graduates like these, the future is looking bright! Congrats to the AF grads!

For more, check out NBC Connecticut’s coverage.

Michael Strianese
Jessica is the Communications Director for the Northeast Charter Schools Network. She shares the charter school message and the stories of the real people who are a part of the movement with the press, member schools, parents, and the public.
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Achievement First Hartford grads tell their own stories on “precedent-setting” Senior Signing Day
Achievement First Hartford grads tell their own stories on “precedent-setting” Senior Signing Day
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