I am underappreciated and never realized. I am young, black, uneducated with a limited vocabulary. I don’t know any big words and have trouble understanding a lot more than I let on, and it’s unfortunate. I would tell you that being black and going to school in a not so good neighborhood is the cause, but truth be told, I went to private catholic schools my whole life. I probably shouldn’t use that as an example, but I will. I was failed by a system that only cared about money and did not give students a good education and an excellent foundation to build off to further themselves. I dropped out of high school because I knew I wasn’t getting the education I deserved, and the same can be said of middle school; I was failed.
Education became my enemy, and I was afraid to face it. When I decided to face higher education, I knew I was ill-prepared for what I was about to face. I had dreamt of being on a big campus with big trees and grass as far as the eyes could see, but all I got was four buildings spanning across four blocks and a halal food truck. What I finally got was an education from an institution that cared about me and my well-being.
Making Education More Equitable event spoke to me because it had one fundamental message: Students are underappreciated. Students are treated as customers and experiments instead of humans with something to give to society. Community Colleges are underfunded, and students are left to suffer from a greedy system. It is not fair that an institution that helped me have a voice that can be undervalued by society.
By working with students, my job is to educate them that they are indeed at a disadvantage compared to other students from other backgrounds. They must know where they stand within a systems mindset. They have to take control of their education and use the institutions the way they use them, and it’s unfortunate.
The truth is, I don’t care because my money goes to a system that doesn’t care for me, and either should other students care. We are the guinea pigs in a system that leave us malnourished – Quite Unfortunate.