Hartford's first-ever charter high school is about to have its first graduating class.
Four years after they began, Achievement First Hartford High School seniors will receive their diplomas.
Students such as Sebastien Kerr and Imani Vellon were part of a lottery selection process that got them into the school as freshmen.
Vellon recalls first seeing the classrooms named after the alma mater of the teachers teaching inside.
“We wouldn’t be able to get to where we want to go without hearing other people’s story,” Vellon said.
Because of that, Kerr had vision.
“We aim for what we want to learn, and my job is to get all the skills I need to reach that aim,” Said Kerr.
Now Kerr and Vellon are two of 36 seniors who will be part of the first graduating class of Achievement First Hartford High School.
Kerr has been accepted into UConn, where he wants to study to be a sports agent. Vellon will be attending Springfield College and hopes one day to be a Supreme Court justice.
Both students say they probably wouldn’t be furthering their education if it weren’t for his school’s mindset – which insists on the importance of attending college.
“We’re from a city where you know it looks like, it appears that we aren’t college students, we’re not meant to go to school. But we are. We deserve every opportunity that we are given because we’ve earned it. We work very hard,” Kerr said.
“Before I came to this school I wasn’t worried about college, I didn’t think I would actually finish high school I was just worried about going to the next grade and going to the next grade but now I have a vision for the future,” Vellon said.
The students say it’s thanks to the support of their teachers they get to set an example for the other graduating classes.
"Whatever dream you have, it’ll come true one day," Kerr said.
Students graduate June 16.