Basketball has been part of Quentrell’s life since he could walk, but he admits he can’t quite spin a basketball on his finger. He’s determined and keeps trying – a trait the 17-year-old has learned as a Day Student at the University of Texas–University Charter School at Methodist Children’s Home.
MCH launched the Day Student program in 2012 for students in the Waco community wanting a smaller educational setting. Quentrell (“Q” to his friends and teachers) came to the charter school as a “small, reserved sixth-grader,” recalled Clarence Degrate, coordinator of the Day Student program. “It’s been great watching him grow.”
“I didn’t want to talk to anybody at first,” Quentrell said. “But the school staff and coaches helped me get out of my shell.”
“He is always smiling and is really funny now,” said Amy Grisham, director of school support. “Q is always positive, even during hard times.” Hard times are what led Quentrell and his siblings to the Day Student program. Charlesetta, Quentrell’s mother, learned about the unique opportunity through her friend and school support specialist, Rachel Swain.
“I wanted my kids to go to the charter school because I didn’t graduate from high school,” Charlesetta shared. “I always tell my children I want better for them. This school is the best thing that has ever happened for them.”
“Q is not a product of where he comes from,” Grisham said. “He has risen above that. He’s proving that he wants better. He really makes me proud.”
Quentrell’s attitude, communication skills and raw talent have helped him succeed in athletics at MCH. He is active in football and ran track for a season, but basketball has his heart. Quentrell has played basketball with the MCH Bulldogs every season since he was a seventh grader on the school’s first junior high team, making him one of the most tenured athletes in the program.
“I always wanted to be part of a team and win,” Quentrell said. “Playing with my teammates has brought me closer to them as friends.”
“Quentrell leads by example and is consistent,” said Matt Rodgers, director of athletics. “He always gives his best effort in anything he does and the other guys see that.”
Quentrell plans to pursue a career as a barber after he graduates in May 2023. He has been developing his skills while practicing on his cousin, who is a barber.
“I just want to be successful,” Quentrell said. “I want to be a businessman. I want to have enough to take care of my family and others who have helped me.”
Quentrell and his mother are grateful for the opportunities and resources the Day Student program and MCH provide.
“The Day Student program has been so genuine to my family,” Charlesetta said. “They didn’t have to help my family, but they do out of the kindness of their hearts because the love is there.”
Allyson Welch, case manager for the Day Student program, said Quentrell has become a strong advocate for himself and his two younger siblings.
“I know he’s going to do great things because he’s brilliant,” she said.
Quentrell has learned many lessons over the last six years at MCH, but said one rises above all others.
“Never give up when stuff gets hard,” he said. “Just keep going.”