Yvette Rosario-Pérez is the founder and director of Inspire Academy Middle School. Before founding Inspire she worked for the New Rochelle City School District for almost 13 years. Prior to entering the education field Yvette worked in sales and management for over seven years. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Fordham University and her Master’s in Education from Mercy College.
Seven years ago, my oldest daughter, Arianna, entered High School an honors and AP student. Shortly after, she began failing and losing interest in school. School officials were unable to determine the cause and recommended she be removed from her AP and Honors classes. Removing Arianna from these classes made things worst; in addition to her disinterest in education, she now felt dumb. These two things, together with emotional issues, created a snowball effect that would ultimately ruin her chances of discovering herself and her interests and passions. She despised education, felt it was useless and irrelevant. She begged me to let her drop out of school, and in the end, she just barely graduated. I allowed the school system to fail my child. It was this experience that made me contemplate traditional education, I knew that I had to do something and I couldn’t allow other students and families to suffer like we had.
I began to question what students needed from school to help empower them as learners. I read everything I could about transformative education, so that I could create a school that puts students' needs at the forefront of every decision. I began to imagine a school where students were valued for their unique strengths and gifts. A school that gave students a voice and choice in their learning. A school that created deeply personal and meaningful relationships with its students, parents, and community. I envisioned a school that was deeply personal. My goal is to inspire students to become passionate, life-long learners who discover their value and power alongside teachers who know them well--as learners and people.