This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
When Anea Moore was in 7th grade, she gave her mom an ultimatum.
For years, she had bugged her parents to let her apply to Masterman, one of Philadelphia’s premier public magnet schools. Her parents worried that it was too far away — and maybe too challenging.
Moore needed her mother’s signature to complete the Masterman application.
“I don’t know where I got these guts from, but I said, ‘Mommy, either you sign it or I forge your name on this paperwork,’” Moore said. “But either way, it’s going out.”
Moore thought Masterman could push her in ways that her neighborhood K-8 school, Penrose, couldn’t. Though the teachers there tried to nurture her talent — even sneaking her into advanced math classes — she wanted to learn with the “best of the best.”
She also thought that at Masterman she’d finally fit in with students.