Student Profile: Raphael Bonds (Proviso, Ill.)

Date: February 15, 2012

Raphael is a junior from Proviso West currently preparing for the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE).

OES: We have changed the way students are assigned work since you were last with us. How do you like using a syllabus?

RB: It’s good. I feel like I can manage my work better. I know what I have to do.

OES: Have you started thinking about life after high school?

RB: I want to go to college. Either Northwestern or NIU.

OES: Any thoughts about a major?

RB: Business management. I want to own a barber shop, a convenience store and a car wash. I’d like to keep all them in the neighborhood. I would like to give the kids in the neighborhood jobs. Now there are no jobs for the kids. All the older people have the jobs. If a business goes good, then I’ll expand the business to another neighborhood. I’m going to barber school this summer.

OES: Could becoming a barber alter your plans for college?

RB: No, it’s part of my plan. No matter where I go to college, I’ll be able to cut hair and make money. I work in a barber shop now, part time.

OES: I always ask students what they would tell a friend about Ombudsman. What would you say?

RB: I would tell them it’s not like other alternative schools. At first I thought there would be fights, but there aren’t. There are less kids here so you get one-on-one help when you need it.

OES: Any closing thoughts?

RB: I like to say, “Think positive and things will come out positive.” I’m thinking positive about the future. I believe it will come out that way.

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