Eddie Herrera: Community School graduate determined to make his parents proud

Eddie Herrera: Community School graduate determined to make his parents proud
Posted on 01/19/2021
Eddie Herrera: Community School graduate determined to make his parents proud

By Kadey Heidrich
Pasadena ISD Communications

Eddie Herrera, 19, is a recent Community School graduate. Like many students, the road to graduation was not a straight line for Herrera. After he was no longer able to attend his traditional high school in Pasadena ISD, Herrera decided to try Community School. 

Community School is a high school of choice in Pasadena ISD that empowers students to reach their full potential by providing self-paced classes in a blended environment. Community School, fondly referred to as the district’s hidden gem by its staff members, gives students at risk of not graduating from high school another chance to earn their high school diploma. The small school prides itself on providing a personalized experience for each student, calling this personalization their “hidden curriculum.” 

Herrera attempted to earn his diploma from Community School two times before graduating on December 17, 2020. He talks  about why he decided to return to Community School and the importance of second chances. 

Q: Why Community School?

A: I decided to come to Community School because I wasn’t finished with high school and I wanted to earn my diploma. I couldn’t go back to my old campus, so I decided to try this option. 

This was my third time attending Community School. I met with the principal, Ms. Capra, to see if she would give me another chance. When we first spoke, she said she wasn’t sure about letting me enroll again, but when we met in person, she said she could tell that I had changed. I’m grateful she decided to give me another chance. 

Q: What made you decide to come back to Community School? What did you do differently this time?

A: Some things happened in my family and my perspective was changed, it made me motivated to complete my high school education.  

This time around, I worked hard. I didn’t let myself get distracted and I was focused on the goal of graduating. I tried hard not to be tardy or miss any days. If something happened and I was late or had to miss a day, I gave Community School a call to let them know. I acted more mature and didn’t have an attitude. 

Q: What have your experiences at Community School been like?

A: Everybody here is wonderful. At Community School, the teachers interact with every single student. It is almost like a family, they try to get to know you and want you to know them. Some of my favorite teachers were Ms. Brown and Ms. Payne. 

The teachers treat you like more of an adult here. They treat you with respect and expect for you to treat them with respect, too. I think that you have to be mature to attend Community School and to be willing to take care of your own stuff. Even if you don’t get along with all the teachers right away, at the end of the day, they really do just want to help you and see you do your best. 

Q: Would you recommend Community School to others?

A: I would recommend this place to everybody, especially if they want to graduate early. It’s a good place for people who work hard and might need a second or a third chance.

Q: What do you want to do with your education?

A: I want to become a mechanic. I’m considering trade school or college and my parents are supportive of that. They just want me to be happy, I want to make them proud. I’m proud to have graduated from high school. 

Herrera began attending Community School at the beginning of August 2020 and graduated on December 17, 2020. 

Herrera poses with Community School principal Jennifer Capra
Herrera poses for a photo with Community School principal Jennifer Capra.