I started my freshman year not really knowing anyone or doing anything after school. I had one goal in mind: to make the basketball team. A couple of months later, I come to find out I did not make the team. After this happened, I stopped caring about school as a whole and would cut class and hang out in the hallways. I really had no motivation after this upset. I finished the first semester of my freshman year with a 64 average. I unfortunately had to attend summer school. Before and after everyday in summer school, I would train my tail off in basketball in order to do what I couldn’t the previous year.
Summer school was over, and it was time for tryouts now. At tryouts, I destroyed anyone in front of me. I had the biggest chip on my shoulder not making it the year before, and I was determined to reach the goal. 2 weeks pass after tryouts, and I look on the wall at the gym. MENS BASKETBALL TEAM, and guess what? The first name there was Josiah Ramesar. I had finally accomplished my goal. Playing basketball really helped me significantly. The year before, I was failing most of all my classes, having nothing to look forward to, but now, being on a team really helped me stay on track. My average went up substantially, almost 20 points, and I now had something to do before and after school to help me stay on track. 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 have just finished my first marking period of senior year with a 97 average, and this all would not had been possible without sports. Many people find themselves through various activities. For me, it was sports. PSAL (Public School Athletic League) sets many rules and standards to make sure that all student athletes maintain a certain average and pass classes. Without this motivation to the students, many will start slacking off and not be able to manifest the career or future that they want.
But many high schools, over 100 in New York City, don’t give students that advantage of having a sports team. Schools of mostly African American and Latinx descent on average, have access to 10 fewer sports teams compared to white students. How is this fair? How is this equal? All schools should provide students with this opportunity, as it really helps the youth, who are our future leaders, stay on track and be the man or woman they want to be in society today. I’m asking the members of the City Council to help pass Intro-242A, which will increase the PSAL’s transparency. And I’m asking members of the DOE to make sure all students, regardless of what type of school they go to, have access to a sport of their choosing.