Crossroads School and Malachi’s Story

December 20, 2019

At only 12 years old, Malachi Hawkins is more well-spoken and insightful than one would expect. As a 7th grade student at The Crossroads School, Malachi has found a school that will put him on a path towards realizing his potential and his dreams. Those dreams include an ambitious goal of one day fusing his penchant for math with his interest in video games, by owning his own video game development company.

Malachi lives with his great grandmother in a neighborhood in West Baltimore that is plagued by drugs and crime, a path that he has seen many of his friends already begin to walk down. With few safe spaces for Malachi to spend his out-of-school time, he is grateful to have found a home at Crossroads where he and his peers are personally invested in their own success, in an environment that encourages its students to be scholars, leaders, and citizens through its academics and various after-school sports, arts, and leadership programs.

“Crossroads is by far the best school I’ve been to, I love all the staff, they’re really passionate about what we need to learn, they really help us when we need it, and even give us their personal phone number in case we need to reach them outside of school, said Malachi.”

The Crossroads School is a top-performing public, tuition-free charter middle school located on Living Classrooms’ East Harbor Campus. The school was ranked #1 Living Classrooms opened the school’s doors in September 2002 and currently serves 160 students in 6th through 8th grades, most of whom come from poverty stricken neighborhoods, where each of the surrounding middle schools are in danger of being reorganized by the Maryland State Department of Education.

The Crossroads School prides itself on being a “school of choice” whereby students, families, and teachers choose to be a part of the Crossroads educational community. The curriculum focuses on the fundamentals of reading, writing, and math with a hands-on, interdisciplinary approach. Technology, cooperative learning, critical thinking, and real-world application of knowledge are also considered to be fundamental to the core curriculum. Students are held to high standards of character called the “Five Promises” (Honor and Integrity, Contribution, Commitment to Quality, No Excuses, and Perseverance), a tool used to inform behavior both inside and outside of the classroom.

This year, Malachi joined Crossroads’ newest program that is aimed at building the skills necessary to realize ambitions such as his, an aerial photography club that is part after-school club and part business, aptly named Skyview Photos. The goal of the program is to engage students in learning valuable STEM, business and entrepreneurial skills in an effort to prepare them for high school, college, and career. The venture is operating much like a real start-up business would, where the students are actually pitching their business to prospective clients and completing contracted jobs in return for service-learning hours.

Malachi is the company’s Safety and Liability Manager and is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the safety and integrity of the drone equipment. He is excited to have an avenue to explore entrepreneurship, math, and science more thoroughly, as he knows they will one day be critical in his success. Malachi is also the highest held pilot in the company, logging hours of practice operating the equipment, working on business presentations, and actually pitching to such clients as Waterfront Partnerships and Under Armour. In fact, after Skyview’s presentation to representatives from Under Armour, they were told that it was “the best pitch they had heard all year.” The Skyview team is currently working with students of Living Classrooms’ neighboring Fresh Start program to construct mini wooden race cars through the program’s physics curriculum.

With one more year ahead of him at Crossroads, Malachi is already planning his path for the future. With stops at Gilman School, the Ivy League, and internships at leading tech companies, Malachi’s dreams remain as bright and ambitious as he is. His teachers and staff at Crossroads are confident that, like the company, the sky is the limit for Malachi’s potential.