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Meet Zuri Chandler: 11th grader at Garrett Morgan School of Leadership and Innovation

This month, we shine our spotlight on Zuri Chandler, a vibrant high school junior at Garrett Morgan School of Leadership & Innovation in her third year at Open Doors Academy. We spoke with Zuri about her college plans, membership in Ohio State University's Young Scholars program, and her advice to young people thinking about joining Open Doors Academy.

Meet Zuri Chandler: 11th grader at Garrett Morgan School of Leadership and Innovation

Hi Zuri! Great to see you. Could we start with you sharing your interests and hobbies outside of school?

Sure! I enjoy playing video games and making arts and crafts. I also enjoy listening to music and hanging out with my friends.

How did you first get involved with ODA, and what impact has it had on your personal or academic growth?

My stepmother signed me up for ODA, and I entered without knowing much about it. The people at ODA have been incredibly helpful, especially in networking. Through the program, I've met friends from different districts and had the opportunity to travel on college tours, exploring potential future colleges.

As you approach the end of high school, what are your plans for the future?

Since last year, I've been interested in psychology and social work. I plan to pursue social work in college.

Do you know what college you’d like to attend?

Yes. I'm part of the Young Scholars program for Ohio State University (OSU). While I've been encouraged to apply to multiple schools, being in this program significantly increases the chances of attending OSU. I aim to double major in psychology and social work.

Thinking of Young Scholars, and the emphasis they, Open Doors Academy, and your school place on leadership development, can you share an instance where you demonstrated leadership?

Certainly. During the summer, I interned at ODA summer camp, where I had to be an example to younger kids. The positive response from the kids made me feel like I did a good job.

As you know, ODA places a high value on community engagement. What community service projects have you been involved in and how did the experience shape your perspective on giving back?

Every summer, after the ODA internship, we travel on a service learning trip. This past summer, we went to Toledo, where we helped plant on a farm and made beds, contributing to the community. It is always really nice.

Reflecting on your high school experience, is there a particular achievement or moment that you're especially proud of?

Consistently maintaining good grades since freshman year is something I'm proud of. It hasn't been easy.

Are there any teachers or mentors who have played a significant role in your educational journey, and how have they inspired or influenced you?

My ODA coordinators, Mr. Danny, Miss Jasmine, and Miss Sukara have motivated me to be a better person and excel in my work.

What advice do you have for younger students considering joining programs like ODA or starting high school?

Don't be nervous; join ODA. You can meet new people, network, and the staff can really help you with your work. Be mindful of the friendships you form, stay respectful to teachers and peers, and you'll be good.

Thank you, Zuri!

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