Houston Matters

Students Share Their Stories About Life at Unorthodox Furr HS

(Above: Furr senior Milburgo Mora participated in many activities at school, including the Green Ambassadors and the media team. During his sophomore year, he and his friends would hang out at this rock, where students could write graffiti. Photo: Eric Kayne)This year, News 88.7’s education reporter Laura Isensee has been following developments at Houston’s Furr High […]

Senior Milburgo Mora, Furr H.S.(Above: Furr senior Milburgo Mora participated in many activities at school, including the Green Ambassadors and the media team. During his sophomore year, he and his friends would hang out at this rock, where students could write graffiti. Photo: Eric Kayne)

This year, News 88.7’s education reporter Laura Isensee has been following developments at Houston’s Furr High School as it tries to shake up the “traditional” high school model. It’s doing that with a major grant from the XQ Institute.

Over the last year on this program, we’ve heard stories about the school’s principal, Bertie Simmons, a former teacher who came out of retirement to lead the school and went to extraordinary lengths to foster peace between rival gang members there. We’ve also heard about the unusual job interview methods the school has used to search for its newest teachers.

And, today, we hear from some of Furr’s students, who’ve been working with Laura to create radio diaries about their experiences there.

Senior Victoria Martinez, Furr H.S.(Above: Senior Victoria Martinez managed the media team at Furr High School and produced video interviews with local officials, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Photo: Eric Kayne)

We hear from Victoria Martinez, a senior who tells about her experience at Furr and what’s next on campus for someone close to her.

Finding the Right Fit at Furr H.S.(Above: One student at Furr High School found that the school was a better fit for her than her previous school, a college prep public school. Photo: Eric Kayne)

Then, we hear from a junior who just finished her first year at Furr High School. She shares a very personal story about struggles with school and her mental health (we are not using her name to protect her privacy).

And, finally, senior Milburgo Mora (pictured at top) tells us why it’s hard to say goodbye to the school.

Editor’s Note: These student diaries were produced by Laura Isensee with support from the Education Writers Association Reporting Fellowship program.

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