Where A School Day Is Also A WorkdayAnn Therese Palmer
Thirty-one-year-old Leticia Aspera, married mother of three and an immigrant from Michoacan, Mexico, was worried about her oldest daughter, Leticia Corona, who was a freshman at Marie Curie High School on Chicago's southwest side. All summer, her daughter had dreamed about high school. But when classes started, "reality didn't match the dream at all," Aspera says. "It was a rough place." She recalls: "When I went for Leticia's report card, the teachers were rude, in a hurry, and didn't take time to explain what the grades meant." The mother worried about gangs and lax security, too. In November, young Leticia asked to transfer from the public high school to Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, a new Catholic school started by the Society of Jesus--the Jesuits--in the heart of Pilsen-Little Village, Chicago's Mexican-American community. It's a 90-minute, three-bus trip from Leticia's home in Pilsen, 6.4 kilometers southwest of the Loop.
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