Introduction by Cris McCullough
In 1995 the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center (The MET) opened its doors in Providence, RI. It was the creation of two transformative thinkers and educators, Dennis Littky and Eliot Washor. They had a vision to redesign education in a way that, “put students at the center of their own learning.” As it’s blossomed, The MET High School has become a space for acceptance, community and encouragement.
One of the driving philosophies of The MET is making sure students feel part of a culture in an environment that cultivates an, “everyone knows everyone” climate, and puts learners at the center of the educational experience.
Ours was a happily homeschooled family. But I realized my three very precocious kids needed more opportunity. The MET happened at just the right time for us. The welcoming attitude of advisors and students alike helped cultivate their individual talents and gifts through hands-on learning experiences.
With each subsequent generation of students, many from populations that are chronically underserved or ignored in traditional learning environments, The MET has honored every individual’s unique talents and gifts, no matter who they are or how they identify themselves.
How The MET High School curated a new understanding for me
by Myka Richard
I never thought I would look forward to going to school until I came to The Met. I remember my first day; smiling welcoming faces and positive energy. I wasn’t used to this at my old school so I was a bit overwhelmed. Students got to take a pronoun pin as we walked into the school then we sat down and watched our new staff sing to us in ridiculous costumes. It was great to see people be themselves. They encouraged me from that day on to keep the same energy as them.
“And from the moment I walked into the building, I knew I picked the right school.”Myka Richard
The reason I came to The Met High School was that I wanted a safe space to be open about my queer identity. And from the moment I walked into the building, I knew I picked the right school. I had never been out as transgender until that day and it was the push I needed to live my life the way I needed to. If I didn’t have The Met I would probably be struggling to find my space in the world. As much credit as I give to my school for its open arms, I also give credit to myself. I had the courage to show up and be myself. I was a petrified 15-year-old that needed to face my fears. And after I did it, I had a new understanding of what it meant to be supported and loved.
I also got to learn what real friendship meant. I am still friends with my whole advisory that I met on day one. My advisory mates are amazing; we are all a big family. Good friendships help you learn about yourself in an unexpected way. Throughout the years of being friends I have: learned how I communicate best with others, my boundaries, and what I need in a relationship. We also get to see each other grow and mature emotionally. And it all comes back to the environment The Met High School has created for students. I am grateful for my school and proud of my choices.