Friday, December 16, 2011


Portfolio has finished and students, teachers and staff are off to begin their Winter Break. Before we leave we want to congratulate TMA senior Shamir Fauntleroy on a very exciting accomplishment. Shamir has been accepted to be a Posse Scholar at Pepperdine University. Through the Posse Foundation, Shamir's four years of tuition will be covered and he will receive support a college mentor through the Posse Foundation. Congratulations Shamir!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Law Firm Tutoring Spotlight: Williams & Connolly

Elcid Johnson works on AP US History.

The LFT group that heads to Williams & Connolly each week comes prepared to work hard and have fun! Although Law Firm Tutoring partner Williams & Connolly hosts one of the largest LFT groups in this year's program, the firm's sessions run smoothly under the guidance of Linda Dunbar, the LFT coordinator, and the tutors from the firm.

Renita Robinson and her tutor work together on an assignment.

As is the case with several other LFT partner firms, Williams & Connolly matches each TMA student with a tutor or two for the entire year, and students and tutors get to know each other well during the LFT sessions. At the final LFT session before the break, students and their tutors buckled down to work on everything from US History essay prompts and outlines to Algebra assignments on perfect squares.

Malachi McCaskill and his tutor tackle perfect squares!

Throughout the hour of tutoring, students and tutors worked together on homework, but also took time to catch up with each other and to learn more about each other’s lives and goals for the future, exemplifying one of the many extra-curricular benefits of LFT for students.

Rachelle Turner gets input from her tutor.

Marion Washington and her tutor work on a History prompt.

As students packed up to head down to the bus, we discovered that some students were still hard at work with their tutors, and didn’t want to leave LFT!

Lexus Harkum and her tutor discuss an assignment.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Warriors in High Spirits for Homecoming

Students from all grades donned their class colors and kicked their TMA spirit into high gear for Friday’s pep rally, which culminated Homecoming week. Following a week of spirit days including Mismatch day, Twin day, and Decade day, students proudly displayed their class colors for last Friday afternoon’s event in the gym. Ms. Bobo led the students through a series of competitions including a three-legged race, free throw competition and a tug of war. In the free throw shootout, the freshman team of Edwin Louallen, Donte Hatcher, Kiana Ingraham, and Kaprise James outscored the sophomores, and then defeated the senior team in a one point victory. Also debuting at the pep rally was TMA’s very own Go-Go group led by music teacher Mr. Van Siclen.

Although both the boys and girls basketball teams spent the weekend playing games on the road, the Mighty Warriors will be back in action tomorrow at home with a double header tomorrow versus Booker T. Washington Charter School. Lady Warriors play at 6, and the boys’ game will follow at 7:30. GOOOOO Warriors!

Sekerhi Anderson (right) in the free throw contest.

TMA's Go-Go group led by Mr. Van Siclen (center) on saxophone.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Law Firm Tutoring: Spotlight on Morgan Lewis

Each Tuesday, a group of twelve juniors heads over to Morgan Lewis for the Law Firm Tutoring Program. After a quick bus trip downtown, students arrive at the firm and are greeted by Lisa Thompson, one of the LFT coordinators at Morgan Lewis.

Students and Ms. Thompson eat dinner together, often discussing current events or life skills for the first few minutes of the evening. The group also uses their time to catch up about the week and discuss students’ upcoming assignments and projects.

After dinner, students head over to the study area and begin working on homework with tutors, who help with anything from AP US History notes to Pre-Calculus projects!

Morgan Lewis has been a LFT partner since the program’s beginning in 2001, and it’s easy to see how committed everyone at the firm is to helping students succeed and stay on track with their classes. Whether it’s motivational discussions with the students or one-on-one check-ins, students and tutors work together each session to make the most of their shared experience.

As Lisa notes: "I remember when I received an email from our former Chair, Tom O’Brien, about the upcoming training meeting that would take place for those who were interested in tutoring students from Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School.  I was so excited because this was the perfect opportunity for me to give back to the community and also never leave my building.  What started out as just a passion to give back, has blossomed into me co-chairing the program with Michael Berenson, Senior Counsel, here at our office.  


"Each Tuesday, I look forward to seeing the students come to our dining center so that we can talk, find out how they are doing with their studies and also give them some practical life-skills help when necessary.  I have also kept in touch with many of the students who have now graduated from TMA and gone on to college.  I love working with the TMA Law Firm Tutoring program."

As the evening of tutoring wraps up, students and their tutors talk as they head toward the elevators, with pairs at times continuing the conversations right up to the time students board the bus!

Law Firm Tutoring Spotlight: Vinson & Elkins

Whether in rain, shine, or freezing cold, fifteen TMA students board a bus after school on Tuesdays that winds its way through the National Mall and monuments to the law firm of Vinson & Elkins, a long-time LFT partner.

Japaira Ellison and Kennika Massie working with a tutor.
The Chemistry group gets ready to talk about elements!

Once at the firm, students quickly get down to business, pulling out assignments and letting the LFT coordinator know what they need to work on for the session. Although some students work individually with tutors on assignments, there are also students who work collaboratively on assignments for classes they have in common.

Delante Fludd and Destiny Long think intently about a problem.

While Seren Snow and his tutor discussed the necessary edits for an AP Government paper, the group in one corner of the table was having a heated argument about ionic elements. One tutor noted, "I never knew Chemistry could be so exciting!"

Japaira Ellison works on History.

Students and tutors in the midst of great discussions!

At the end of the session, students reluctantly packed up, some even continuing their discussions with their tutors as they walked out to the elevators!