Taking Charge of Your Health

My name is Milton Mitchell Jr., and I am
the principal of City Academy school here in the North City, St. Louis. I was a
part of the dual enrollment program with the Florissant Valley campus of St.
Louis Community College during my junior and senior years of high school. I was
able to take classes. I even did some summer work during my time in high
school and then was able to graduate in 1997. I worked in an admissions office at
at DePauw University, then I left there and moved out to California and worked
at the California Institute of Technology where I did student support
services with multicultural offices, and then I went down to the K through 12
arena and worked at two different independent schools in Los Angeles. And
so, I was in Los Angeles for a total of 15 years. When I left after college to
go out to Los Angeles with my family, I thought LA was going to be in my future
for the rest of my life. I absolutely loved it, but it was right around the
Michael Brown situation in Ferguson. My family and I felt a deep calling to come
back to the place that we loved. We didn’t like the way that St. Louis,
Ferguson particularly, was portrayed on the news that we were
seeing out in California, so we made a choice to come back and be able to give
back to the community and the people that we loved and were able to set a
foundation for me growing up. We had no other choice but to come back, and
hopefully we’re doing the same thing by making a difference here. A day in the
life of a principal, school principal, it changes every single day, but the crux
of what we do is simply to support the teachers and the students and the
families here within our community. We have approximately 200 students here
that come from all over the St. Louis region and abroad, and they come here
hoping to, to get an amazing education, and we do that by keeping the class
sizes small and allowing them to have tons of hands-on, incredible experiences
for them that go beyond the classroom. Some of my best professors were at the
community college level. I still, to this day, remember of my psychology professor
who was incredible at, at really bring to life those things that I was
learning. He really pushed us to think beyond the textbook, so he left a
indelible mark on my career. But it was really amazing for me to even
go to the counselor there. She walked me through what that life would be like for
me, as both a high school student as well as a college student. And they helped
prepare me for the next level of being a full-time college student after I left,
so I really, truly feel like it gave me an incredible foundation for what I am
even doing to this day. Go in and soak up as much of the information as you can,
but really get a chance to know your professors – those who were are in the
teaching positions. Get a chance to really know them and hear their stories.
That’s what made my experience what it was – so meaningful and valuable – was, it
was the people that I got the chance to meet as a 16, 17, 18-year-old kid that still,
again, have left marks in my life. My best advice is just to take advantage of the
time and get a chance to know the people that you’re working and you’re
surrounded with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *