The real test of a high school education is how it plays out afterward. CAN graduates are successful, hardworking, and are making contributions in diverse fields. Here are just a few of the many paths taken by Concept Alumni.

Alumni Spotlight
(Week of Aug 31, 2015)

Megan R. Sims

Megan R. Sims is an Alumna of Concept Schools’ Horizon Science Academy Cleveland High Schools and she graduated with the class of 2011.

Briefly, describe your career path
I am a writer by nature and I have chosen the path of journalism. I have always had a passion to help others and advance the Black community and I believe that journalism is my path to doing that. So far I have had the pleasure of interviewing celebrities and writing for publications like the USA Today College Blog, Her Campus, Howard Magazine, the Call & Post and ESSENCE Magazine, among others. At the same time, my proudest moments have been using my platform as a journalist to continue my civil rights activism. I have marched in the streets of DC, Baltimore and Ferguson and I believe these experiences have helped me not only become a better writer, but a better person.
What are you passionate about in your work/school?
My passion is with learning more and understanding my Black culture. My minor is in Afro-American Studies and I plan on getting a master’s in that when I graduate. And even during my days at Horizon, educating, learning and understanding more about my culture has been a driving force for me, which is why I am so glad and highly encourage future and present students to attend an HBCU (Historically Black College and University).
Where is your career headed?
Currently, I am about to enter my last year at Howard University, and I hope to receive an internship with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, where I can further continue to sharpen my journalism skills. After college I want to be a magazine writer, or even start my own publication. Later on in life I want to become a teacher to teach Black inner-city youth about the history of their culture.
How has your Concept Schools experience helped shape your success?
I attended Horizon Cleveland Middle School and High School and Horizon was the place where I discovered I wanted to write. I never knew that I was a good writer until my 8th grade english teacher Ms. Adams encouraged me to write and helped me to believe in my abilities. Even in 11th grade, when I decided to explore journalism, Horizon offered a journalism course and taught a lot of things that I would go on to relearn in college. Most importantly, attending Horizon helped me to internationalize my knowledge and explore my culture, as well as other cultures. Years later, people still look at me surprised that I studied Turkish in high school.
How are you a game changer? Or, how are you making a positive impact in your community?
Journalism is truly meant to inform and I have been using my platform to inform people in national and local publications in DC about issues that affect them. By doing this, I hope to inspire people to take a stand and create change.
What is the most amazing or interesting thing that’s happened to you since graduating?
It would probably be interning at ESSENCE Magazine. I have dreamt of working at ESSENCE since I was a kid and I can even remember being at the computer lab at Horizon researching ESSENCE's internship and telling myself that I would intern there...then it actually happened! Another thing I can never forget is when my professor surprised me with the Ray Boone Justice in Journalism Scholarship this past December at the annual Capital Press Club Gala in DC! I was the first person to ever receive that award, which is given to students that demonstrate a strong proficiency on race issues.
Your favorite Concept Schools memory?
I have quite a few. I truly enjoyed talking with Ms. Adams about writing and history. Then I remember one day she came to school and brought me a picture book about John F. Kennedy to keep after we talked about how I was interested in learning more about him. I enjoyed Ms. Humphrey’s creative writing class, Mr. Naymik’s journalism class and also connecting with my career and college path teacher, who attended an HBCU as well; she encouraged me to explore and learn more about my Black culture. But as cliche as it may sound, graduation was amazing because I had accomplished what I had wanted since the 6th grade and I was finally on my way to college.
How do you support and participate in the Concept Alumni?
I will always be happy to come back and talk to students to tell them about my experiences and encourage them to accomplish their goals.

Concept Alumni Network (CAN) invites suggestions for Alumni Spotlights!
Do you know a Concept Alum(s) who has:
  • An interesting job?
  • An extraordinary story to tell?
  • Made a difference in his/her community?
  • Been a role model for others?
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