Maynard Jackson High School senior, Bendsondy Pierre was 15 years old when he and his family traveled to America in pursuit of greater opportunity. After a 20 year wait, the Pierre family were finally able to begin their journey as U.S. citizens, but for Bendsondy that meant a complete reset.
Starting over for Bendsondy forced him to begin his journey at Maynard Jackson as a freshman when he should’ve been a sophomore.
“My journey started on December 1, 2016, when I arrived from Haiti to the United States,” he said. “I could not speak English. A member of our church brought us to Maynard Jackson and it has been like home ever since. I was lucky that a few students in my class spoke French, but because of the language barrier I had to start over as a ninth grader.”
Bensdondy admits that learning his ABC’s as a high school student wasn’t the sweetest but necessary so that he could begin to excel in the classroom.
“I didn’t give up. I would go home and practice on my own. It didn’t take me that long to learn the language. Out of 300 students that were born here, I am now 126 in my graduating class,”Bendsondy said.
He credits his grandfather’s mindset as a source of empowerment. His grandfather worked tirelessly for 20 years to bring Bendsondy, his mother and brother to America. Watching his family fight for what was important to their future, inspired him to also work diligently in school.
“Success is not a straight path. Sometimes you have to zig zag,” he said. “I didn’t give up, and I never felt rejected by my setback, just motivated to work harder.”
Maynard Jackson turned out to be the right school for Bendsondy’s transition. The school has been supportive of Bendsondy’s goals and now he has even greater dreams of becoming a doctor.
“I come from a little island in Haiti and for many years I lost people that I loved because my community did not have a hospital there. It takes 30 minutes to get to a city with a hospital, and many people have lost their lives because of the long distance. Because of this I want to go back and take care my people as a physician,” Bendsondy said.
Bendsondy also wants to take care of his family and make them proud. He has been accepted into seven institutions and is seriously considering Antioch College as his first choice.
“I’ve set my goals, and I want others to know that they can achieve their dreams if they just believe,” he said.
|Awards/Recognition:||Most Improved Student for SEL Georgia, Student of the Month|
Atlanta Public Schools will host high school commencement exercises Saturday, May 18 – Friday, May 24, 2019. All ceremonies — except Atlanta Classical Academy and Charles R. Drew Charter School — will be held at Georgia Institute of Technology, McCamish Pavilion,965 Fowler Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. For more information on commencement exercises, go to www.atlantapublicschools.us/gradnation.
We Are APS highlights APS visionaries (parents, students, teachers, principals, support staff, community members, partners, etc.), who exemplify our vision of a high-performing school district where students love to learn, educators inspire, families engage, and the community trusts the system. To recommend an APS visionary for a We Are APS feature, contact your communications liaison or email firstname.lastname@example.org.