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    Posted September 5, 2009 by
    Boston, Massachusetts
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Fix our schools

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    Monument High School's Mu Alpha Theta: Rewarding Diligence in the Inner City


    Monument High School, located in South Boston, MA, is a Title 1 public school in the Boston Public School system. It is the first school in BPS and the ninth in the state to establish a Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, an after school extracurricular activity that is dedicated to inspiring keen interest in mathematics and developing strong scholarship in the subject. The club is
    limited to juniors and seniors that have successfully completed algebra and geometry and possess a cummulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Out of approximately 200 Monument High School juniors and seniors during the 2008-2009 academic school year, only 11 students satisfied the M.A.T. requirements.


    These 11 students met with the other M.A.T advisor and me weekly to discuss what we would focus on as a chapter, talk about post secondary education and work on the senior members' college applications. We also spoke openly about how we as an honor society could inspire other Monument High School students to work for academic success and make obtaining a college education a top priority.


    To make our newly founded after school club more official, we decided to have a formal induction ceremony halfway through the school year. Our 11 members, 8 of whom are first-generation Americans, one that moved here from Albania in November 2007, were all sworn in as charter members of BPS's first M.A.T. on
    January 29, 2009. At the induction ceremony, we played a video that the 11 members put together introducing themselves to sponsors, other Monument faculty, and BPS district representatives present. The video is also uploaded and attached to this iReport.


    During the summer preceding the 2008-2009 school year, the other advisor and myself sought financial support in an effort to raise enough money to fund an all expense paid field trip to Washington, D.C. in March for our M.A.T. members. We made it our mission to not only help these students further develop academically, but also expand their experiences beyond Boston's city limits. After countless phone calls to potential donors and many rejections, we finally found financial supporters that believed in our mission as much as we did. Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, Inc., Massport, The Boston Bruins Foundation, and Old Mutual Asset Management Foundation chipped in for a
    combined total of $14,000. M.A.T. was elated and in spring 2009, we traveled to Washington, D.C., for 5 days. A video of compiled footage was made into a short movie. Three of the five days is attached to this post.


    At the end of last year, we lost 6 members to graduation, 5 of whom will be attending college in the fall and one that is entering the Navy in October. For the upcoming 2009-2010 academic school year, M.A.T. welcomes 6 new members, four from the junior class and 2 from the senior class. The seniors will be taking the SAT on December 5, 2009, while the juniors will take it in the spring. Starting Wednesday of next week, we will begin working on SAT math strategies and filling out the Common Application.

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