My name is Lisette Garcia and I am a graduate of Noble Street College Prep’s class of 2011. After my time at the OC (Original Campus), I studied english and secondary education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and graduated in 2015. Now, I work as a 10th grade english teacher at ITW David Speer Academy – this will be my fourth year there.

Outside of work, I’m also the founder and a current sponsor for GIRLS (a women empowerment club at ITW) and participate in the Noble Alumni Association Steering Committee as both a founder and an event lead. I am also in my second year of graduate school at DePaul University, pursing my masters. I’ll graduate in June 2019 with a degree in curriculum studies with an endorsement in teacher leadership and a concentration in bilingual education.

Why did you choose Noble?

All my life, I have been very organized. Everything I do is purposeful to my life plan and goal. When I was applying for high school in 8th grade, I was looking for a school that would give me the tools I needed and opportunities that would help me get where I wanted to be in the future. This is when I found Noble. I learned about the Summer of Lifetime opportunity, the rigorous classes, and the small classrooms that provided more time for the students to interact with teachers. I realized that this is what I needed in order to propel myself into the right direction. I looked at other high schools across the city, which were all incredible in their own way, but always seemed to come back to Noble. I applied to various campuses and accepted my seat at the OC (Noble Street College Prep).

What is your favorite Noble memory?

I have had many fond memories throughout my high school, but my absolute favorite memories are my Sumer of a Lifetime experiences. Through this program, I was able to experience the DePaul University law program, Indiana University’s journalism program, and visit Moscow, Russia for an International Language Camp. These three experiences, all different, allowed me to gain more leadership, confidence, knowledge, and exposure to possibilities I had not seen before. I learned that I loved interacting with people, thrived on teamwork, and enjoyed making an impact, both locally and on a larger scale. Even at the age of 25, I still talk about these experiences and reflect on what I have learned through them.

How did your experiences at Noble help you post-graduation?

My experiences at Noble helped me acknowledge that I have a voice in conversations and making that presences known is vital. When walking the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and now in the professional world of education, as an urban Latinx woman, it is necessary to have a seat at the table to ensure the actions that I want to see are executed. With Noble’s exposure through Summer of a Lifetime and small classes, I saw that it was possible to speak my mind, receive support from my colleagues, and see follow through. I have always been a confident woman, but through these avenues, I flourished.

What advice would you want to share with Noble students?

My piece of advice is to get involved as much as possible in and out of school. Academics are the first stepping stone, but secondly, and as equally important, is having a presence in the communities you belong in. Join clubs, sports, community centers, and much more—feed the passions you have. Everyone has a voice, so make sure you are putting yours to use.

At Noble, we are college bound. As the largest charter public school network in Chicago, Noble’s high school program exposes our students to higher education options and guides them through the collegiate application process. Through college trips, college fairs, summer college immersion programs and required academic courses, Noble demystifies the college experience and shapes students’ beliefs and confidence about higher education.
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