How Destiny Middle School is Supporting Students Beyond Its Own Doors


Like charter schools, magnet schools and magnet programs are publicly funded alternatives to a traditional comprehensive school, whose goal is to improve student engagement and achievement. While admissions criteria for magnet programs vary by school, acceptance and enrollment in these selective schools can often catalyze students’ passions and help them lead a more focused journey through college, leadership and life. At Destiny Middle School, we’re excited that over 20 students from the current eighth grade class have been accepted to local magnet programs.


“Magnet schools provide students an opportunity to consider a specific area of passion while maintaining some traditional high school feel,” said Destiny principal Cheryl Sullivan. “Because of this, and the nature of accepting students from a wide variety of neighborhoods, magnet programs benefit both those who attend, and the surrounding communities.”


Destiny hosted The Science and Math Institute (SAMI), Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA), and iDEA High School on six different occasions to provide information and opportunities for our students. Opportunities for students to get introduced to these magnet schools included an info session with their admissions directors, their own tables at High School Night, and providing transportation for campus conversations and interviews. “I learned about iDEA from Destiny. They encouraged me and told me I could get in,” said Destiny eighth grader Amir T.

“This is really exciting for Destiny students and their families,” said Destiny counselor Gary Mayne. “The admissions folks from these three schools worked hard to make opportunities for Destiny students and families, which both the families and I appreciated very much.”

Students and parents share Mayne’s enthusiasm. Gertrude Hughley, whose daughter Danielle is an eighth grader at Destiny, said: “I am very proud of her and glad I made the choice to enroll her at Destiny. She has always wanted to pursue science, and she was so elated to be accepted into SAMI, one of the best high schools in Tacoma. She sailed through her interview like a pro all because of the foundation she has been receiving from Green Dot. I would make the same choice [to enroll her there] over again.”


Destiny eighth grader Lavina P. is also excited about where she’s headed next year: “I really love singing, which is why I wanted to go to SOTA. Destiny has helped me get there by letting me know they would support me in any way I needed.”

Jasen M., an eighth grader at Destiny who will be attending SAMI next fall, had a similar experience: “SAMI focuses on environmental learning and I want to try that out. It has a lot of science and math.”

“Jasen sought out SAMI for its unique learning environment, its small size and its approach with hands-on learning,” said Julie Mullens, Jasen’s mom. “We don't think he would have considered SAMI if he hadn't experienced Destiny, and we think he'll be happy and successful at SAMI because of his time at Destiny.”

Green Dot is committed to nurturing the interests and passions of all students. We believe that connecting student passions to a rigorous, college-prep local high school opportunity helps our middle schools continue to operate as a launchpads to success in college and beyond.


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