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Parent Interview - Latonia Cherry

April 11, 2017
By Rachael Dittmar

Recently, I sat down with one of our own TNA parents, Latonia Cherry, to learn a little bit about her experiences at our school. Although each child is different, many of her insights reaffirmed the values we share here. She also provided some great advice to new parents 

How long have you been part of the TNA community? 

Our daughter Shataya is currently a Junior and she enrolled in 8th grade.

Why TNA?

Truthfully, it was our daughters decision. She had been in Catholic schools and researched The Neighborhood Academy on her own when it was time for her to “graduate” from her previous school.  We [as her parents] were particularly impressed by the curriculum and structure of the extended school day, like with the built in after school activities and evening study time. We were pretty sold on the school right away after reading the website. The Open House just confirmed everything we hoped for.

How have you seen TNA impact your child?

She’s always been very studious, but since her time at TNA we’ve seen her break out of her shell. She used to be very shy, for example, when doing group projects she used to try to get the other students in the group to present so she wouldn’t have to get up in front of everyone. With the tours she gives, and more recently her role in the Dating Violence Resource Fair, Shataya is no longer afraid of public speaking and does it with ease. 

What’s the best thing you’ve done to support your daughter?

Being there for her. Especially in the beginning, when she was first transitioning, there was a lot more emotional adjustment and even more help with homework checks. I used to ask her weekly what tests she had coming up, but as she got used to the work load, I stopped needing to. She started internalizing her own academic needs. And her grades show her responsibility. TNA gives enough notification so you know if something isn’t right with your child.

What’s the best advice you can give to current or perspective TNA parents?

Prime your child for what’s ahead of them. TNA is going to expect more than other schools. We told Shataya, who had always been an A-student, “you might not get all A’s or even B’s at first and that’s okay.” We would much rather see her try really hard and fail than not try at all. I would also tell new parents to be there through the frustrations. [Coming to TNA is] a huge change for most students and sometimes the best thing you can do is just listen to them and be there for them. Additionally, I would tell Shataya to take advantage of all of the tutors and advisors. There’s no excuse not to!