Humans of Liberty - Jessica Esch (Class of 2023)

“I have lived in Bethlehem my whole life; however, I attended a small private school until 9th grade. My school provided me with a great education, however, I began to feel trapped by the school’s stagnant environment starting in 6th grade. I have always been an extroverted person. I used to get in trouble a lot for talking too much or expressing myself. Making a mistake was severely looked down upon. Back then, mistakes were not something to learn from; they were something to be punished for. Constantly getting in trouble but not knowing how to improve left my middle school mental health in the dumpster...

In 7th grade, we went on a field trip to a local high school that I had been planning on attending after graduating 8th grade. I ended up getting in trouble during that field trip, which led my family and I ultimately to decide that I would not be attending that high school. That day left me feeling confused, hurt, and anxious; that school was all I had ever heard about. My school told us that we could never succeed in a public high school because the “terrible environment” made learning impossible. It was not until I got in trouble on that field trip that I started to learn that that sentiment was a complete lie. Little did I know how much better the environment of public school would be for my personal, professional, and academic growth compared to my previous environment. Since the first day of freshman year, I have met so many amazing people. My friends that I have made have helped me realize that it is okay to ask for help, that I am not a burden, and that I am capable of succeeding. Every teacher I have had has been incredibly supportive, and I know I can reach out to any of them if I need advice or assistance. LHS has allowed me to turn a trait that was once a curse into one of my biggest assets, and I could not be more grateful for the opportunities I have been given during my time here, such as becoming Class President, NHS President, School Board Rep, the Secretary of “Angel 34”, and a member of Model UN. LHS has also allowed me to narrow down my ideal college major and career path, which is computer science.”

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