Alexandra Shapiro ‘14, was diagnosed with several learning disabilities at a young age. She was held back in the 3rd grade at her public school for not being able to read. When her mother discovered they wanted to hold her back at the end of 4th grade, she decided to enroll Alexandra at American Academy for 5th grade, which changed her life academically and personally. Alexandra saw a difference immediately: “As a struggling student at the time, the smaller class sizes, attentiveness given to each student, and the teachers motivation to help was much appreciated”.
Having obtained a Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Florida in health science pre-clinical and a minor in health policy administration, Alexandra attributes her career choices to her high school biology class. “All the questions that I ever had about life were finally being answered. I had an incredible teacher who further enhanced my passion for science,” Alexandra said. Even though she loved science, she still struggled in college comparing herself to “exceptionally bright students.” However, because of her teachers and faculty at AA, she did not stop believing in herself: “Whenever I was struggling I would always think back and remember all the teachers and faculty who told me how proud they were of me and confident in my success. That really helped me through the toughest times in college.” Currently, Alexandra is enrolled at the Denver College of Nursing and will graduate in December, 2021. She is pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner with a focus in cardiology.
Alexandra’s time at the Academy was well spent. She was a student ambassador from 7th to12th grade, in the Spanish Honor Society, and helped establish Andrea's Angel Club. Her greatest high school memory was being selected as the Reflection Speaker at graduation. Alexandra remembers, “At that time, I did not even think I was at that level, that I could be someone to fulfill that role. I felt so honored knowing there were teachers and faculty who chose me and thought of me as someone who could present the reflection speech.”
When asked what advice she could give families who are considering enrolling their child at American Academy, she said, “It was more than just a school, at least for me. It was a home away from home and I say that from the bottom of my heart. The teachers and faculty aren’t just random people you pass by in the halls or hide from when you see them in public. I truly felt like every single person on that campus cared about me and could not wait to see what I could achieve and was willing to go above and beyond to help me in any way they could.” Her only regret about her high school experience was not believing in herself more: “Other than my mindset, I do not think I would have changed anything because I would not be where I am today.”