The higher education assembly and panel I organized yesterday was a huge success! For the most part the students were engaged and asked tons of questions, teachers gave us positive feedback and loved it, and all the administrators who came to listen throughout the day asked me to be a part of the planning of more programs for the district! I couldn’t have asked for a greater day with such awesome speakers talking to students.
Waking up this morning made me feel even a thousand times greater about how the day went. Checking my email, I got several emails from students wanting to continue the conversation on going to college. I’m ecstatic to see that so many students are taking the first steps already of reaching out for advice. Some of the students that emailed me even explained that they weren’t “honors students” but were still interested in college, and this is one of the reasons why I wanted to create such an initiative in my town. To explain to them that they all can go to college. You don’t have to be top of your class to go, and that’s where lack of information makes so many students from my school not continue on.
Even when talking to a few teachers before the assembly, I was asked “why aren’t you talking to honors students? They are the ones who’ll listen.” And “Isn’t sophomore year too young to talk about college?” One teacher even explicitly said “Tough shit for those students who aren’t competitive enough to go to college.” When teachers feel this way, of fucking course college is not gonna be discussed in the classroom! They’re not gonna prep their classes they think aren’t “meant” for college. Ideas like this need to stopped, and teachers especially need to cut that shit out.
Clearly with the emails I got (and I’m sure the ones that the other speakers have received), students from all class levels are interested in going to college. We cannot limit who we give college information to. It makes me so happy to have been able to talk to so many students about college, and to continue that conversation with them. Having the school administrators see how much this information is beneficial to our community, and how dedicated I am to this gives me so much more determination to work with students. Plans for a “College Week” for the entire district from elementary to the high school are in the works, and ideas on programs for parents, as well as middle schools students are going to be discussed! I cannot be happier with the direction this is all going!