At five years old, Joseph McDonald, was in no position to make decisions about his education. His parents were though, and they were determined to stay in Springfield only if their son could get into SABIS International Charter School. Joseph did, and a world of opportunities opened for him.
Speaking from Munich, Germany, where he is currently participating in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX), Joseph says, “I don’t think I would be so adaptable if it weren’t for SABIS.”He learned to be adaptable over the 13 years he was enrolled at SABIS, starting as a Kindergartener and graduating in 2014. He credits the diverse student body at the school for teaching how to work with others.
“I made friends with all different kinds of people,”he says. “Plus, SABIS was a very college-prep focused school. We learned how to deal with tests and had a good amount of projects—group and individual— which helped prepare me for college.”
Joseph also discovered an interest in robotics while at SABIS, which helped inform his course of study at UMass–Lowell, where he is majoring in mechanical engineering and attending on a John and Abigail Adams Scholarship–one of 55 students in his graduating class of 105 to receive the scholarship.
Joseph has put his adaptability to the test since SABIS. He took a year off from studying to do an internship at a medical device company and is currently completing a yearlong exchange program in Germany.
“We had a very diverse student body. I made friends with all kinds of people.”