When I first came I was actually scared. I was scared because of my age and I didn’t think I was actually gonna fit in, which I don’t fit in cause everybody act like kids, but I love school. When I got here, there were kids my age and there was even a couple kids that was 21, so I wasn’t all that nervous and I wasn’t scared no more.
Lisa recently switched schools, and now attends Innovations High School, a project-based media and arts-focused charter school on the South Side that serves less than 200 students between the ages of 16 and 21, most of whom are seeking a diploma after dropping out of a previous school. We are in the cafeteria, a cheerless basement enclosed by hundreds of skinny lockers. Students come in and out, cracking loud jokes, bouncing basketballs.
I came here last year around February. I had gotten pregnant like a fool. [Laughs.] I dropped out and stopped going to school. I was out of school for like half a year, so when my best friend told me about this school, ‘cause her friend was going here, I came and I checked it out and I liked the school.