How has Omarina Cabrera fared since her Middle School Moment? Frontline checked in.
NARRATOR: It’s the last day of the semester at the Brooks School, an exclusive private academy in North Andover, Massachusetts. Omarina Cabrera is halfway through her sophomore year.
OMARINA CABRERA: I remember first getting here, it definitely was an adjustment. A lot of kids here are very wealthy and well off, and their parents are very important people. And I go back to an apartment, a two-bedroom apartment in the middle of the Bronx. And then I come here. The environment was definitely a shock.
NARRATOR: That she made it here at all is surprising. Without the help of a ground-breaking program in middle school, she probably wouldn’t have.
We’ve been following Omarina since 2012, when we began examining the dropout crisis in America’s high-poverty schools. At that time, she was a student at Middle School 244 in the Bronx, and she had been struggling.
As an eighth-grader, Omarina wrote an essay that helped gain her acceptance into Brooks School, an elite college preparatory high school in Massachusetts. With her permission, FRONTLINE has republished the full essay. In this video, Omarina and Ms. Miller reflect on writing the essay and filming Middle School Moment.