Meet Michelle, a Green Dot Tennessee Growth All Star


Michelle is an eighth grade student at Wooddale Middle School in Memphis, Tennessee who has already set her sights on becoming an obstetrician. She also loves kids and cannot wait for her new brother that is on the way. In her free time, Michelle’s favorite thing to do is spend quality time with her loved ones, whether it’s a girl's night with her best friends (probably watching a Cinderella movie) or a trip with her mother, who describes her as dedicated to learning as much as possible in and out of school.

Michelle entered her Green Dot school in the 6th grade, completing math just below grade level, a pace equivalent to less than a grade per year. After 1.5 years of middle school, she is now at an 11th grade level — achieving 5 1/2 years of growth in math. While many students do not enter their Green Dot school close to grade level like Michele, she still had more to offer, and being seen at a Green Dot school gave her space to grow exponentially.

Her mother, Tenesha Fitzpatrick, is proud of Michelle's growth at Wooddale.“She doesn’t go to school to play, she goes to work so she can bring home straight A’s,” explains Mrs. Fitzpatrick. “She comes home and then gets straight to work too. She loves to study and is strictly business when it comes to her school work.” Michele is dedicated to being a top student as she prepares for college, leadership, and life.

Michelle speaks highly of her Math teacher, Ms. Henderson, who has helped her build her confidence and encouraged her to not be shy to ask questions at class. “She explains things better, she helps me understand things,” said Michelle. ”Sometimes it can be confusing but I’m not afraid to ask questions anymore.”

Ms. Henderson is proud of the discipline and hard work that Michelle puts into school. Her most outstanding quality is that she is always seeking opportunities to learn. Recently, she missed a few days of school due to being sick, but when she came back she wanted to get back on track, asking Ms. Henderson for tutoring to catch up.

“What I love about Michelle is that when she doesn't understand something she raises her hand to clarify. She’s not passive about her education.After she was out for a bit, she even came to tutoring and learned three or four lessons in one day,” explained Ms. Henderson. “She has motivation and desire to get it right. She wants to understand. She engages in her learning.”

Students thrive in Green Dot schools. Each arrives at our middle or high schools, full of the energy and creativity of youth, but often accompanied by a data anomaly that doesn’t remotely fit: they are multiple grades behind and chance of college and a successful career is slipping away. They have been promoted learning half a grade or less each year. At Green Dot, everything changes. Anonymity is banished within a Green Lens of care, support, and unlimited expectations. Students become Growth All Stars, achieving multiple grades of learning each year at their schools. 

There are 14,000 more Green Lens stories beyond these, each one unique and remarkable. Please put your energy behind them. GIVE what you can this holiday season and support All Star achievement.