I view Groton School as saving my life. That may sound extreme but let me explain: I was a good student all through grade school but at some point during middle school, I began hanging out with ”the wrong crowd.“ My mother had died when I was 8 and my father was never very active in my life so it was my grandmother who was my primary parent at that point–and who remains like a mother to me.

Krystal VaqzquezMy good grades landed me a Groton School scholarship, which was absolutely pivotal in getting me out of Spanish Harlem and setting my life on its positive course.

I have no doubt that had I stayed with the particular kids I had begun to gravitate towards, I would have gone down a disastrous path. Instead, I got a fabulous education at Groton and then at Trinity College and am now working in administration at Opportunity Charter School in my old neighborhood, attending Manhattan College to obtain a masters in Organizational Leadership, and spending my weekends working with foster kids.

Groton for me was a life-altering pivot point. I don’t know who provided the scholarship I was awarded, but I hope they know what an impact their gift had.