Christine's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Full Circle

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Philadelphia, PA

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 11

CHRISTINE BORELLI

CEO
Memphis Street Academy Charter School

“If you find passion in it, follow it, fight for it, run after it, and in the end it will work out because you're never going to get bored from it-you're never going to think of it as work.”

INTERESTS:

Education Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Education Failure Fear Goals Opportunity Passion Success Family Community Transitions Choices

FOUNDATION:

Teaching / Mentoring

TAGS:

art, career, catholic school, choice, drugs, exposure, fighting, freedom, generation, mom, options, principal, public school system, sacrifice, school, student, teacher, tough, violence, work

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Did not grow up wanting to be a teacher; was actually a tough student behavior-wise.
  • Grew up in a rough area of Philadelphia where "you needed to be tough."
  • Her mom gave up most of their luxuries so that they could go to private schools; knew their "way out" would be through education.
  • Was sent to public school for summer school after failing algebra; was terrified every day, kids were fighting, no one paid attention in class.
  • Started thinking, "what's going to happen" to those kids who were fighting, barely learning times tables in tenth grade; knew she wanted to teach.
  • Memphis Street Academy was previously one of the lowest performing middle schools in Philadelphia, had highest numbers of assaults, drug incidents.
  • Cleaned up the interior and exterior of the school so that students' learning environment felt like a "bright, healthy place," apart from bleak community.
  • Says that like in a relationship, you'll know your job is your passion if it makes you feel "butterflies."

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