Without sports being in my school, who knows where I would be? Sports really gave me that mindset that I had to stay focused, or else there will be consequences.
I often think about the friends I left behind at my old school, the kids who needed more but got less.
When I stepped into kindergarten only speaking Spanish with mi futuro ahead of me, learning English through frustrated teachers… Was I worth it?
I am a junior at Brooklyn College Academy, which means I graduate next year. But I am 17 years old, and according to the system, I am supposed to be a senior, so why am I a junior? Because I was left behind. I was left behind because I did not speak English.
Schools dot NYC dot Gov: “The DOE works hard to ensure that students in every borough, district, neighborhood, and school have the tools they need to achieve their dreams. We know that excellence is more than a goal, it is the birthright of every child in our city.”
The truth is that us Black and Latinx students are working hard. However, in this system, hard-work is not the sole factor to success. At least not when access to opportunity is unequal, underprepared educators are taking on the toughest jobs, and resources are scant in our schools.
I had good odds because I am a privileged student in an unequal school system.
Will you still sit idly as a moderator or will you help us take charge of building an education system determined to adhere to the outcries of students like me?
Sophomore year, a boy pulled my hijab off. I felt targeted, but I had also seen another girl’s hijab getting pulled off by the same person. I was so hurt, but I just stayed quiet.
I refuse to be another Black male student who had potential but just couldn’t make it because the systems set in play were too strong to tackle. I refuse to be compliant with a system that allows my people to leave their classrooms just to walk straight into a prison cell.
The little Rock 9 were not tormented for this to be black and brown children's destiny. If we dream of a better future—one for equality—then we must integrate our schools and end educational inequity.
There has always been a stigma around me—that I’m sure others have experienced as well—about receiving extra help.
You pride yourselves in being the most diverse city in the world, yet your public school system is more segregated than in the South.