Finding a Home at Intrinsic

My name is Barbara Maldonado. I have two children – Alicia, my oldest, is 14-years-old and in the 9th grade at Intrinsic’s Downtown Campus. My son is in the 1st grade at Horizon Science Academy (HSA). We feel truly blessed to have found such amazing schools to support and love our family.

Until 2017, my immediate family, mother, and I lived in Puerto Rico. In 2017, though, Hurricane Maria struck our island home and we had to evacuate. Our family in Chicago took us in. We’ve lived here ever since. When we moved to Chicago, we wanted a great school for Alicia. She’s an excellent student who has always cared so much about her work. We enrolled both of my children at HSA and they thrived. Alicia got all of the support she needed. She won awards in all content areas. When she moved into the 8th grade and started to think about high school, however, we found that the high school application process was a nightmare. She took many tests and applied to selective enrollment schools but did not get in. We were devastated and I called Alicia’s teachers to ask for their advice. They suggested that I look at Intrinsic, another charter school that was opening up another campus. The first Intrinsic campus is very close to my work, so I stopped in. The students were so happy and smiling. The teachers looked happy. One thing that I love is that they have their classrooms in pods. It helps the students to be comfortable. My daughter is a diabetic and she feels better in the more relaxed, safe environment. They also use chromebooks for all school work and to stay in contact with teachers. We decided that Alicia would apply for the Downtown campus. When she was accepted, I was so happy and relieved that I cried.

Alicia is now a member of the founding class at Intrinsic’s Downtown campus. Every single day, she comes home and is excited to tell me about what she learned. She’s always studying, always reading, always happy. She takes the train by herself to get to and from school. She’s becoming independent and I am so proud of the young woman she is becoming. She feels good also knowing that her Intrinsic family is waiting for her to welcome her as she gets off the train. When we came to Chicago, we had nothing. Now we have everything we’ve ever wanted in a school. Here, this is the best education I could have received for my daughter.