By Seth Daniel
When Jeremiah Miniweather looks back at his three years of high school in Revere, he is amazed at how much the school set him up for success.
That coming after attending schools in Georgia and Florida before moving to Revere to live with his father, Sidney, and his stepmother, Janine Strate – schools that he said weren’t interested in going the extra mile to help kids succeed.
In fact, his experience after coming to Revere High was so positive that he hopes to get a degree at Emmanuel College and return to Revere to teach in the school system.
“Before coming here I went to schools in Georgia and then in Florida,” he said. “There, I never had the support system like I had here. What I found here in Revere, I’ve never had anything like that when I was in Georgia or Florida. It was inside and outside the school here. The teachers there won’t take you aside if you’re having trouble. They don’t care that much. They will do that here. They set you up for success. A lot of kids that always went to Revere take that for granted.”
Miniweather, 18, will graduate with the Class of 2017 next week on June 8, and from there he will go to Emmanuel College. He noted that he will be the first person in his father’s family to graduate high school and go on to college.
He came to Revere during his sophomore year after living with his grandparents in Florida for a long time. His father and stepmother were ready to bring him to Revere, and he credited them with really increasing expectations for him upon arrival.
While his grandparents weren’t that strict, his father and stepmother really were. That combined with entering a school with high expectations for everyone helped him to focus on his future in a way he had never considered.
He joined the football team – playing wide receiver and defensive back all three years, which helped him to break the ice with the “northerners” he had heard so much about in Florida.
“At first, everyone told me Revere was a tough city and I had friends who told me people in the north are mean,” he said. “Everyone at first said I had a southern accent and I wondered what they were talking about. I wondered what they were hearing that I didn’t hear. In the end, I see Revere as an awesome city. Everyone knows each other and it’s very tight-knit. People in the north I found are big on respect. If you respect them, they respect you and everyone is fine.”
Miniweather also migrated to a now-defunct club formerly run by teacher Nancy Barile. That club, the Future Teachers Club (FTC), helped him to know what he wanted to do with his life.
He said he decided he wanted to be a teacher not long after joining FTC, which dissolved due to lack of funding after his sophomore year.
The club used high school students thinking about becoming teachers to act as mentors for middle school students at the Rumney Marsh Academy (RMA). The high school students often became role models for the younger kids.
It was on a trip to Boston University that Miniweather said he realized that becoming a teacher was his calling.
“When we took the kids to BU, all of them were asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I told them I didn’t know yet,” he said. “Once we got back though, that trip filled in a lot of questions that I had. At that instant, I knew that I really wanted to try to become a teacher. That was the tipping point for me. I’ve learned a lot this year about self-realization.”
While he enjoys math, Advanced Placement Psychology and Economics classes, he said he has his heart set on teaching elementary or high school classes for his career.
He said his goal is to make a difference in the lives of young people in Revere.