Antum Alexander

Antum Alexander

Class of 2018

I attended Central High School from 9th grade through November of 11th grade. I got pregnant and stopped attending school. After two years I re-enrolled in school in April of 2017. Once I went to the Re-engagement Center, I chose LEAD Charter School as my placement. LEAD gave me the option to make up my missed credits and stay eligible to receive a high school diploma.

“At LEAD Charter School, the staff made us feel more independent and trusted us.”

“LEAD Charter School impacted my life because it gave me another chance, my last chance!! I started to understand that people are not going to wait for you. I was told had I attended a traditional public school, I would not have attained my high school diploma considering the lack of adequate credits.

“At LEAD Charter School, the staff made us feel more independent and they trusted us. I felt more trusted in this school compared to other schools. LEAD gave us chances to fix our mistakes and never gave up on us, despite several setbacks initially. They treated us as adults rather than as children.”

Antum is currently enrolled full-time at Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey, majoring in General Science, while working for the AMC Dine-In Theatre brand. She’s the proud mother of a 2-year old son having aspirations to become a Respiratory Therapist and to continue growing into her best self.

Buju Hopkins

Buju Hopkins

Class of 2018

“LEAD Charter School impacted me in so many ways. This school opened my adult eyes and made me see how the world works. I now understand a lot more about myself and life. Before I enrolled into LEAD, I gave up on myself and what I could do. However, because of the consistency of the staff and teachers at LEAD, it showed me that there are people who care. I realized that there are people who love urban youth who are usually shunned. LEAD is the only school I know of who still offers help to the graduates and to the community. Because of LEAD, I am a better man.”

“This school opened up my adult eyes and just made me see how the world works. I now understand a lot more about myself and life.”

Buju is currently working part-time as an intern for the City of Newark in the Engineering Department. Buju was fortunate to land this job last summer and has been with this employer since. Buju aspire to continue to work in his city and give back to his community by making it a better environment. He wants students who have gone through similar experiences like him to understand not to quit on themselves and keep pushing through!

Rachelle Cesar

Rachelle Cesar

Class of 2018

“Prior to attending LEAD Charter School, I had just moved from Brooklyn, New York with hopes of a better lifestyle. School has always been a struggle for me due to challenges I faced at home. LEAD gave me the opportunity to thrive unlike other public schools. I was 18 when I first started at LEAD with the credits equivalent to a 9th grader. Other schools said my age would most likely max out before I would be able to graduate.

“LEAD set itself apart from other schools by asking me what I wanted to achieve. Simply, I wanted to graduate high school. Immediately, LEAD prepared a plan to help me reach that goal. I had to increase the number of classes I’d take in order to graduate on-time. What also makes LEAD unique is the relationship they automatically build with students, which gives us the extra encouragement needed to push through.   

“Upon graduating from LEAD, I applied to Bloomfield College where I’m currently enrolled as a Sociology major. I’m part of the Educational Opportunity Fund program at my college, as well as an intern with the Dean of Student Affairs.”

Netesha Obermuller

Netesha Obermuller

Class of 2018

“They taught me how to use my voice in a positive way to educate and elevate my community and the people around me.”

“I was in an environment where I felt unprepared and unfit to do better in society. I  had no encouragement and no one to support me, uplift me, and to push me to do better. I wanted a school that not only cared about my academic improvement, but also cared about my personal well-being. So, during the summer, I and a couple of my friends came across LEAD and decided to give it a try together. And, quite frankly, it was the best decision I could have ever made for myself.

“This program gave me structure and a strong foundation for a better life. It prepared me for what is to come.  LEAD played a big part in the way I interact and converse with others, and LEAD taught me how to use my voice in a positive way in order to educate and elevate my community. I learned that LEAD staff invests their time into young people’s lives. LEAD  exemplifies uplift and support. It’s clear that it’s neither about how smart you are nor how slowly you learn. It’s about the effort you put into completing the goal you set for yourself, as well as helping others to achieve theirs.” Netesha aspires to be a social worker and a therapist. She is passionate about helping children and teenagers by encouraging self-pride and self-confidence,  no matter what path they choose in life. Currently, Netesha is a freshman at Bloomfield College majoring in Sociology.”