By his own account, Oscar Tendilla was a horrible middle school student, unmotivated and indifferent. Last month he became his family’s first college graduate. He now has plenty of career options, no debt and a diploma from Cornell University.
The 21-year-old son of Mexican immigrants relishes the tale of his turnaround. “I did poorly in middle school because I didn’t care,” Tendilla told me. He credits his rising ambitions to encouragement from his teachers at his Brooklyn high school, part of what was then a relatively new and untested high school network known as Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH).
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