My name is Leonardo Carranza Jr. and my parents are Maria Carranza and Leonardo Carranza Sr.. I have two brothers, Cristian (MSJ Freshmen) and William Carranza (5) and a sister Cindy Carranza (14). My father was born in Ecuador along with his parents and my mother she was born in Texas and whose parents were from El Savador, they both met each other in New York when they were in high school. My parents married and lived in New York for a few years for which Cristian, Cindy and I were born. When I was 3 or 4 my parents decided to move to Baltimore, Maryland.
It wasn’t until the summer before my freshman year of high school that my dad was offered a job in Rutland, Vermont and the family decided to move here. It was a dramatic change for a lot of reasons. The population of Baltimore was over 600,000 people with a great deal of diversity, a wide array of culture and great food!
My family is important to me with strong values and we are all proud of our heritage. My parents are a great dance team and practice salsa, bachata. merengue, reggae swing and tango and enjoy teaching others to dance. My mom is a great cook of our ethnic foods.
I started my freshmen year of high school by going to the local public school, which was Rutland High School. It was a very different learning system and seemed very easy compared to how I was being taught back in Maryland. After my freshman year I decided to transfer to MSJ to seek a bigger challenge by going to a private school knowing they would hold me more accountable in the classroom.
MSJ has had a very positive impact in my life. I felt that it prepared me on the discipline I expect I will need in college, whether it would be a small private college or a huge public college. It has shaped me to be more mature than my age and to be a leader among others. MSJ has help me build the skills to cooperate and manage myself in difficult situations. I sincerely feel that MSJ was the best choice for me in continuing my high school career and to be a good starting point in my adult life. I’ve gained a lot more than an education at MSJ and I’m not the only student who could say that. Many factors were present on my decision to transfer to MSJ but the biggest one, outside of the classroom challenge, was that Coach Mike McIsaac was working at the school. I had met Coach Mike at Meadow Street Park when I was just doing some conditioning and he had the football team out there working out. After seeking my parents approval, I asked if could I joined him, from that point it was a welcoming experience and I talked to him about where he worked and that’s when I was introduced to MSJ.
As a senior going to MSJ, adviser Mr. Charles Stevens has really guided me in the right direction going forward with my future plans. I was accepted into Norwich University to be a member of the ROTC program for the US Army. Norwich was my top choice for college and I will be majoring in international business and possibly taking psychology as a minor. When the Norwich letter came in the mail, I opened it with my mom and after reading it aloud it brought tears to my mom for I will be the first to go to college in my family. After being accepted I felt complete because this is what I wanted, and I exceeded my goals and expectations that I had for myself with high school. All thanks to a helping hand lead by Mr. Charles Stevens and the MSJ teachers.
Leo Carranza 2/10/2019