Waco’s Rapoport Academy Public School celebrated their 20th anniversary on Friday.
The charter school started with just 16 students in a rented church basement in 1998. Now there are over 830 students attending three campuses.
The school is celebrating with a block party, and they are inviting the entire community to come out to the Quinn Campus on Elm Avenue from 5:30 till 7:30 on Friday night to enjoy food, games and inflatables.
FOX44 spoke with former Rapoport Academy student Alicia Martinez, who graduated a year ago with a high school diploma and a college degree from McLennan County Community College at the same time.
“It was a life-changing experience. It was unlike any other school that I’ve ever been to,” Martinez says.
Martinez is thankful for her education at this school.
“What we focus on is not only giving kids content knowledge, but giving them knowledge on how to live in the world. And not just how to live in the world, but how to be truly successful in whatever realm they wanna go to,” says Superintendent Dr. Alexis Neumann.
The school says part of their success is credited to their small class sizes, high test scores reflected by an “A” grade from the state and their focus on college readiness. The school’s focus is on students from East Waco low-income families.
“They (teachers) were just so encouraging to what we can do as students. It wasn’t hard to balance them both (dual degree). I had the whole Rapoport community and all of the teachers to help me,” Martinez says.
Martinez is now a Baylor student trying to inspire younger teens and hoping to push another 20 years of high standards.
“They should not be scared at all to pursue their dreams because it is possible. You can do it as long as you believe that you can,” Martinez says.
The school opened its doors to students for a new school year last Thursday.