Rising above expectations: Apollo, Class of 2019, 3DE at Banneker High School


APOLLO grew up knowing he wanted to go into business. When he heard about 3DE at Banneker High School (BHS) he instantly wanted to go there, rather than his zoned high school. When he told his mom of his desire to enroll at BHS, she, like every other person he came in contact with, adamantinely opposed the idea. He jokes that even his bus driver told him not to go.

“They basically said I would not fit in. That I would be going to school with kids who aren’t doing anything with their lives. Kids who live in poverty whose parents did not even graduate high school.”

Apprehensively, his mother allowed him to enroll.

Now, Apollo proudly reflects on the fact that their concerns were misguided.

“Yeah, there are students with those backgrounds, but that is not who we are as a school, and that is not how I would describe my friends.”

In fact, he had more in common with the students in 3DE than he’s ever experienced before.

“I have always been shy and that is often misinterpreted for being stuck-up. All through middle school I was secluded. The first few days in ninth grade it was happening again. But, once we started to work in groups on our Case Challenges everything changed.”

When asked how things changed Apollo summarizes it into one word: family. ”From that moment on, we have been a tight unit. We support and challenge each other to do more. We respect and appreciate each other’s differences. Our classrooms are full of leaders - people with drive and passion and as a whole we don’t let the stories and stereotypes outside of school dictate our future.”

Apollo went on to explain that “We are all rising above expectations people place on us. The only expectations we have not achieved yet, are our own. We are all aspiring for a future that is beyond what we once imagined.”

When asked what he wants to do in the future, Apollo says that he has aspirations to be a sports agent, but it does not end there. He also wants to own a franchise and open a clothing store in urban communities, among many other things.

“Before 3DE I had hope. Now, I have more than hope. I have a path to success and friends and mentors who will continue to hold me accountable, until I achieve my dreams.”