Antoinette was born to teen parents. While her mother was able to finish high school, her father dropped out to support his family. But, despite tough circumstances, Antoinette’s parents instilled in her a passion for education and remained dedicated to her success.
When it came time to select a high school, Antoinette and her parents chose International High School of New Orleans–one of more than 100 public charter schools operating in the New Orleans Public School system.
New Orleans is unique in that it is an all-charter district, and instead of assigning students to schools based on the neighborhoods they live in, its charter system allows families to apply for admission to schools across the city. Antoinette chose the International School of New Orleans because of its dual-enrollment and International Baccalaureate programs. There, she says, she had support from teachers and staff that encouraged her to focus on her academics and dream big.
Antoinette did just that. She excelled in school and joined clubs. She also sought out the help of a guidance counselor who assisted her through the college application process. Love went on to be accepted into an astonishing 116 colleges and receive millions of dollars in scholarship offers.
Antoinette’s educational success is not uncommon in her district. A 2018 research report from Tulane University shows that over the past decade, in the reformed New Orleans school system, student achievement and overall high school graduation rates have steadily increased. College entry and core subject testing are also on the rise.
Antoinette’s story is one of perseverance and a testament to the fact that there is a pathway to success for every student, regardless of their zip code, learning style, or family’s income. Empowered by unique opportunities and school choice, attending a charter school changed Antoinette’s life and helped her best cultivate her talents and ambition. Love’s experience attending a charter school was so profound that she is now pursuing a degree in education at Eureka College in Illinois and hopes to become a teacher.
To learn more about Antoinette’s story check out the Antoinette Love Education Series from the U.S. Department of Education on YouTube.