This is it, senior year, and the final chapter of high school. College applications are mailed out, and students wait to hear back from their dream schools. Some spend time at internships, as others prepare for avenues in collegiate sports.
According to the 2011 School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Accountability Annual School Report, 100 percent of students at Franklin Learning Center graduated on time during the 2010–2011 academic school year. This year, four students reflect on their experiences of academic accomplishments, athletic achievements, participation in extracurricular activities and discuss practical social skills learned during their time at FLC.
After flying over 5,000 miles from Syria to Philadelphia more than four years ago, Tarek Kerbag has made several accomplishments in his high school career.
Kerbag is class president and a dual athlete playing for the boy’s soccer and volleyball teams. He has received First Team and All-Star in soccer this year. He made All-Public, a first for FLC, and All-Star recognition in volleyball last year. Kerbag said the school’s grading system motivated him throughout high school.
“When I heard about the credit system, that’s why I chose this school. Honestly, I did so much progress that I never thought I would do since I came from a different country. In the four and a half years, I never thought I would be on the top of the [class],” Kerbag said.
“Since this school has a credit system, it forces you to go up to that 80 percent at least, nothing below that. That’s how it helped me. In one year, you could finish one class and move to the next. I didn’t have to wait for the rest of the class. This is something special about this school.”
Kerbag has applied to 10 colleges and so far has heard back from Ducane, Tiffin and Louisville University. He said he wants to play both sports in college.
Communication and technology major, Ja’nese L. Felder said she chose to attend FLC for her major, the credit system and extra curricular activities.
There are over 15 clubs students are active in, such as, Science Fair Club, Poetry Club and Stage Crew. There are over ten sports teams including Co-ed Dance, Badminton, Bowling, Golf and Tennis. Co-ed Cross Country, Cheerleading, Boy’s Varsity Basketball, Girl’s Softball, Boy’s Varsity Baseball and Co-ed Track and Field all received high honors in their divisions.
“My most memorable experience I would say was coming to the school, because I don’t think I would be the person I am today or have met the people I know now,” Felder said.
Felder has been accepted to East Stroudsburg, Holy Family, Arcadia and LaSalle University.
Sheila Pica majors in business technology and is from Puerto Rico. Pica said the school’s diversity sparked her interests.
“I like to learn about people’s backgrounds and where they come from. Their whole journey to how they became who they are today. I see at FLC you can find that. You can learn from other people’s background and they can learn from you. You can relate to them in many different ways,” Pica said.
While attending FLC, she has interned at Glasko Smith Kline as an assistant secretary for two years helping with various technology projects. Pica said the opportunity she had at her internship helped her develop skills.
“My internship has really been a huge influence in my life and has helped me [become] the person I am today,” Pica said.
As a student class representative, Pica encourages the younger students to make an active effort to meet people during high school.
“I just kind of tell freshman to get involved, to have networking skills, have connections, go out there, don’t be shy, talk to people, meet people, get to know them. So that when it comes to colleges, to a job, you have connections and use them as your reference,” Pica said.
As the first FLC representative of the 2011 Nike SPARQ Combine, which was highlighted by ESPN High School Football, Borbor Kesselly is a top football prospect in the Class of 2012 and 2013. Additionally, Kesselly is the first to make All-Public for football at FLC.
“When they first developed a football team — that was my favorite moment. When I came here freshman year, the school was perfect for me. Everything was perfect, but they didn’t have a football team. I told Ms. Sullivan about it, and she really started to get the team and that was good,” Kesselly said.
Kesselly is said he wants to play at Temple University and major in architecture. He accredits his success to the school’s principal, Dr. Charles C. Staniskis.
“I come in here and talk to Doc everyday. We’re really cool. We really talk about things, and he really motivates me,” Kesselly said.
As these students embark on their journeys into college, Kerbag, Felder, Pica and Kesselly agree that FLC has prepared them academically, athletically and socially.