Starting Out at Intrinsic’s Downtown Campus

My name is Damaressa Quiles. I am a mother of three students in Chicago- Julian, my oldest, is a freshman at Intrinsic’s new Downtown Campus, Bryana is a 7th grader at Jahn Elementary School, and Amarelis is a 4th graders also at Jahn. I, myself, am a product of CPS.

While living in the Hermosa neighborhood, we regularly drove by Intrinsic’s Belmont campus while running errands in the vicinity. After hearing a few of my friends talk about the school and its unique approach to education, I became interested. My son would be entering high school soon and it sounded like a great environment for him.

We decided to explore Intrinsic at an open house event. We loved it, but some of the teaching concepts were still a bit confusing – What is a pod? How does all of the independent learning happen? How do they focus so well on individual student needs? We decided to take a tour to get these questions answered. It was amazing to see the classes in action. The way that they teach at Intrinsic is so different than at other CPS schools. They really do focus on where each student is, and what they’ll need in order to succeed in college and beyond. At all of these school events, I also heard so many passionate stories from family members. It was so clear that they loved their school and its warm community. I wanted to be a part of it too!

Last year, my family moved back into the Humboldt Park neighborhood and Julian decided to apply for a seat at Intrinsic’s new Downtown campus. My husband went and advocated at hearings to make sure this new school became a reality. His advocacy really worked!

Julian has spent only a few weeks at school, but it’s been an incredible first few weeks – he’s already gone to visit a college! We are so excited to see what else they have in store for the rest of high school.