The Campos Spotlight

May 2019



12th Grade



Class of 2019

How has Campos Supported you?

Since the 9th grade, I have had help from many staff at Campos. In English, Ms. Waelder always pushed me to do my best no matter what. When I did do my best, she helped me reach another level and do better. Mr. Bishop never wants me to quit on anything I do, from writing a short piece to writing a few pages on a book. Mr. Hitch is the best college counselor you could ever have. He makes you stay on top of everything for college. He sets up interviews with colleges for you and then teaches you how to do interviews, making sure you are as prepared as possible. I have had more than enough help to get me down the road to graduate successfully. This fall, I am very excited to enroll at John Jay College.


What is your advice to new ninth graders?

My advice is to find people who help you, not weigh you down. Never befriend people who will be in the way of your schoolwork because it could really hurt you in the future. You always need to put yourself and your future first. It is a matter of you walking or not walking down that stage at graduation.


Describe one challenge you faced.

One challenge I faced in high school was the Algebra I Regents. I did not pass it in my first two attempts in ninth and tenth grade. To overcome this, I gave up just a little bit of my summer to come to summer school a few days a week. By making this choice, I passed the Algebra I test on my third try and with a college-ready score.



12th Grade



Class of 2019

How has Campos supported you?
Campos has supported me from middle school all the way through high school. When you come here you feel like you’re part of a family and that’s not just among the students. Teachers and staff also make you feel welcome. Whenever I have felt on the edge about grades or a certain situation, I knew I could always count on anyone here at Campos. They are always pushing you and encouraging to do better.

Describe the leadership opportunities you’ve had at Campos that most excite you.
Campos encourages you to really step out of your comfort zone. I started a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) during my junior year to support students and their sexuality. As well, I am currently an ambassador for CBI (College Bound Initiative). I help students get through the process of college applications. I have also been a mentor to ninth grade students through PGC (Peer Group Connection) for two years now.

How is Campos helping you prepare for college and your future?
Our college counselor, Mr. Hitch, helps us prepare all necessary documents and applications before their deadline. During junior year, we wrote our personal statement and were provided a lot of time to edit our statement. Grand Street Settlement also offers internships that give you work experience. I mentored students at PS 380 and Brooklyn Arbor, including helping them with their homework. I built on my experience taking care of my younger brother and learned how to become even more responsible.

The most important thing I have learned at Campos is that everyone in this building has something to teach you.

January 2019



7th Grade



Class of 2024

Describe your transition from elementary school at PS 132 to middle school.

The transition from PS 132 to middle school was a big change for me. I needed to switch rooms and teachers, walk to school, keep track of my homework, make sure I didn’t mix up my subjects, get to class on time, and use my ID card for lunch, and change for gym. I overcame this challenge by creating a schedule in front of my binder to remember what class, teacher, and  room I needed to go to for each period. One thing I really enjoyed in 6th grade was a college trip to Stony Brook University on Long Island. I still remember the giant courtyard on campus. The visit was a chance for my friends and I to get a closer look at our future options.

Tell us how you grew academically and socially during 6th grade.

When I got to Campos, I wasn’t that great at math. While my 5th grade teacher helped me as much as she could, she had a class of 32 students. At Campos, with Ms. Colacito’s help, math became easier and grades improved a lot. Socially, I had only two friends when I first started. I went to the Summer Bridge program before 6th grade and the after school. Knowing that I wouldn’t be alone anymore, I felt less nervous.  

Describe which teachers have helped you the most at Campos so far.

The teachers that have helped me the most so far are Ms. Colacito and Ms.Stephens. Ms. Colacito gives me a lot of support in math. Ms. Stephens has helped me understand history and I can come to her when I need help with anything else at school.

What are you most excited about for 7th grade?

I’m looking forward to  what my friends and I will do this year such as class projects and trips, socializing during lunch, and attending after school. During the overnight Greenkill trip in October, I really enjoyed the marshmallow roasting outside at night!



8th Grade



Class of 2023

Describe an extracurricular or leadership opportunity that you had at campos.How has it impacted you?

An impact that Juan morel Campos has had on me is the ability to understand more and understand myself. For example, this year is my last year in middle school because I am in the 8th grade. I have to apply for high school and I am staying at Juan morel Campos because I have a lot of college opportunities and high school opportunities, such as college classes and internships that can give me college credits.


Describe a challenge you have faced in middle school and how you have worked through it.

A challenge I have faced in middle school is sometimes not understanding my grades, but I have worked through them by asking my teacher for help. For example, in my living environment class my teacher Ms.Enoe, let me retake a test and my grade went up because she took extra time in class to help me and other students better understand. Another challenge I have faced is confidence, when I first got to Juan Morel Campos I was shy but because the people here have similar attitudes to mine which is to be both serious and kind, I have learned how to be myself.


What has been your favorite class so far at Campos? Why and what did you learn from it?

My favorite class so far has been art because we get to express ourselves in many ways. For example, in Ms. Iancu’s class we learned many techniques in pottery and we get to be creative.


What advice would you give to incoming 6th graders?

Advice that I would give to incoming 6th graders is to try your best, and don't let anything prevent you from learning. For example, I have learned how to stay focused and I am able to get help from adults and peers when I need it.



11th Grade


Class of 2019

Describe an important life skill you have learned while in high school that you hope to pass on to others just starting high school.

While in high school, I have learned to be self-reliant and how to trust myself. I’ve also learned how to be more organized and have developed time and stress management skills. My advice to others who are starting high school is to not procrastinate! If your teacher tells you that something is due in a week, tell yourself it is due the next day  so you get working immediately. Also, avoid peer pressure. It will help you to avoid conflict and negative interactions. Just because your friends are doing it, doesn’t mean that is what is best for you.

Why do you hope to graduate early from Campos and how did you plan your high school program so you can do this?

Graduating early will allow me to start my career early. When I started my freshman year in high school, I decided to focus on myself. I developed a vision of what I wanted my life to be like when I got older. Your future depends on you, not your friends. I wasn’t concerned with what everyone else was doing. I made sure I completed every single homework assignment, asked for extra credit, studied, and passed all of my Regents. Even though it was not required, I decided to take classes during the summer so I could earn more credits.

What do you plan to do after graduating from Campos? How did you decide to do that?

After Campos I plan to attend Brooklyn College majoring in Special Education with a minor in Theater. I chose this path because I can help students through their struggles and give them fair advice. I want to be a teacher and continue theater classes on the side. By making teaching my primary career, I can earn a stable income while still pursuing my other dream in theater.

October 2018



7th Grade Student,


Class of 2024

Reflecting on 6th Grade Summer Bridge 2017...

Please describe what you learned during the Summer Bridge program.

In Art, we were able to make masks celebrating different features with jewels and other things. In Science, we are helping plants and making pictures of the garden. In Music, we are learning how to create our own music on Launchpad and Incredibox, which we use to record music and make beats. Math is really helping because I was not good at Math until I got here, and now I'm better at it. ELA is fun because I get a great teacher, Ms. Masullo, and she helps me with a lot of ELA problems that I don't understand. This school will be great for me. I think it will be the best school I ever went to.

What is one concern you had about going into middle school? How do you feel now?

I was worried that there might be bullies in this school, but then I came here and I saw that there aren't bullies in this school. Coming to Summer Bridge has helped me feel more comfortable about coming to middle school.

What most excites you about being a middle schooler at Campos?

I'm excited because you can sign up for basketball or self defense and learn special techniques, you can learn how to make slime and other cool stuff, also you can learn how to go on computers, and you can be better at dodgeball. I'm excited to try all different types of activities so I can be better at them.

Is there anything else you want people to know about Campos?

I want people to know that this is a great school with good people in it.


Reflecting on 9th Grade Summer Bridge 2017…

Describe what you have learned during the Summer Bridge program.

At Summer Bridge, I learned about how immigrants came from Ellis Island to New York and the challenges they faced during the journey. We also went on The Beast Speedboat Ride, which went past Ellis Island, so we got to see what the island looks like.

Describe a challenge you faced in middle school and how you have worked through it.

A challenge that I faced in middle school was ELA because it was not the easiest subject. However, when I went to Summer Bridge, I studied harder than before. It really helped me a lot for high school.

Why have you decided to stay at Campos for high school?

I decided to stay at Campos because it is a good school. It goes from 6th grade to 12th grade, so you technically study longer at one school than at others.


10th Grade Student,


Class of 2021



Class of 2014, Valedictorian


Parent Advocate,

Grand Street Settlement

Reflecting on her seven years at Campos from 6th to 12th grade...

What class and/or teacher did you enjoy the most during your time as a student at Campos? Why? What did you learn?

In high school I took two AP Spanish classes in 11th and 12th grade with Ms.Ment. She was my favorite teacher and that was my favorite class. Being able to learn about Spanish and Latin American history and being able to read literature and learn about authors from those countries was a new and interesting learning experience. I felt that I was able to connect with the authors that I learned about and my eyes were opened to another world of literature. Through this class, with this teacher, I discovered my love of reading.

Describe a challenge you faced during middle or high school and how you managed it.

My sophomore year was a bit difficult for me because of some family issues that were going on. When I opened up to my friends, and some teachers, everyone came together and was there for me. I could confide in them and I learned that I had an amazing support system at this school; we all did.

What advice would you give to incoming students at Campos - 6th graders? 9th graders?

To 6th graders I would say to come into this school with an open mind. You will meet so many different types of people and make connections with those you least expect. Some of my closest friends today are some of the people I met in the 6th grade. To the 9th graders, my advice is to explore. Whether it is with academics, sports, or other extracurricular activities, try a little bit of everything because once you find something that you are passionate about, it will drive you and your experience as a high school student will be completely different.

Describe an extracurricular or leadership opportunity that you had at Campos. How did it impact you?

During my senior year at Campos, I was in a community service class. In that class, two of my close friends and I decided that every month we would choose an issue, disease, etc. and spread awareness/draw attention to it. We focused on things like breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, skin protection, and so on. This impacted me because I learned how important it is to educate yourself as much as you can about as many things as possible and I was able to educate others as well.

January 2017


Campos Senior,

Class of 2017

What is one challenge you faced in middle or high school and how did you work through it?

One challenge I faced in middle/high school was trying to figure out who Norma Reyes was, who she actually is. Apart from being a daughter, a grandchild, an older and younger sister, a student, a friend, who is Norma Reyes as a person? Who am I for myself? I managed to figure out some of it by expanding my abilities and expanding my mind to other things and other people. I got involved in Theatre and through that I found a part of myself I didn't know that held a great love for the art. I expanded this passion and was accepted into two amazing Theatre programs which have shaped me a lot as well. Now in my senior year, I am familiar with who Norma Reyes is, but I also know I will change over time with my future experiences.  

What impact do you feel you have made so far as a Campos Cougar?

As a Campos Cougar I feel I have stood proud and been supportive to my school. Apart from being in every school play, I also manage the statistics book for the girls basketball team. I have also represented the school by being on the school's softball team my sophomore year. I have expanded my knowledge of Theatre through programs I have attended. I have an internship with Grand St. Settlement which is yet another way to represent our school. I love to believe that the more I dedicate myself and give to my school, the better representative I will be. I believe the students play a big role in making our school what we want it to be and more.

What life skill do you believe you learned while at Campos?

One life goal I've learned while attending Juan Morel Campos is patience. It may sound simple and basic, however, I have always been a control freak, a person who is impatient when it comes to doing and saying things. I love control and I love everything done and said on time and when needed, not before or later. Along with Theatre and other programs I have gotten involved in, I have learned to value time. I have learned to cherish and use every moment wisely; not everything has to be impulsive. When I can just have a bit of patience and less control of things, I can analyze and make sure of my actions and statements. When I can be more empathetic, more open minded to others, I have more humanity.


Campos Parent


Tiana, 7th Grade


Timothy,11th Grade

What is one challenge you faced in middle or high school and how did you work through it?

One challenge that I faced in high school was learning how to understand the importance of the moment and being able to separate myself from distractions going on around me, whether it was in class or in my neighborhood.  It was an ongoing challenge as a young person trying to navigate between paying attention in class and getting caught up in situations that could get me into trouble. As time went on maturity was the key for me in dealing with these issues. I learned that I was accountable for my actions, not my teachers or my parents.

What is one challenge you face as a parent and how are you managing it?

A challenge that we continuously face as parents is keeping our children focused and helping them understand that everything that we as parents/teachers are doing is to help our children progress to the next phase of their journey as young adults.  We try to manage it by talking and letting them know that just because some people seem like they have "it" figured out doesn't necessarily mean that they do. Even as adults we're always trying to better ourselves; we're not perfect after all.

What project could you work on to make Campos a better school and community?

If there were a mentoring program or some type of volunteering, whether it is to help clean up our parks or spend time with our elders, I would like to get involved. I think that these types of activities help build good relationships and a sense of community.


Case Manager,

Grand Street Settlement

What is one challenge you faced in middle or high school and how did you work through it?

I attended a predominantly West Indian school in the Bronx and two things were very prevalent, a dislike of Latinos and a hate for gays and lesbians. As a Puerto Rican LGBT student who also hung out with other Latino and LGBT youth, we were often the target for discrimination and physical assaults. We usually dealt with it by fighting back but that never stopped them from coming back to bother us. It was after one particular attack that my friends and I organized ourselves and took our concerns to the principal and reported the incident to the police. Needless to say, those kids never came after us again.

What impact do you feel you have made so far as a Grand Street staff?

I feel that one of the impacts that I've been able to make at JMC has been helping to start the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) along with my co-worker Gaylen and some great student leaders. The GSA plays an important role because it offers a safe and open environment for not just LGBT students, but any student who wishes to join. The GSA started small and grew quickly. We have done many workshops and even gone on trips together to places like The LGBT Center and an LGBT Youth Summit. Right now the GSA is working on building the leadership of it's members and transitioning into a more youth-led club.

What life skill do you wish your students will learn while at Campos?

I think it is essential for every student to learn how to advocate for him or her self, take care of responsibilities, and be self-sufficient. I learned this as a youth by paying attention to the adults around me and distinguishing between who took care of their responsibilities and who did not. I wanted to emulate the adults who were responsible and seemed like they were moving forward, so I nurtured relationships with them and some of them became my mentors. Even today, they continue to play a big role in my life.