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.

Comment ( 1 )

  1. Lauren Melendez
    Hi Tarrell, There is a lot of blatant honesty in what you said about some of the highlights from the Making Education More Equitable talk in which Dr. Cottom and how she touched on how students are treated as customers and experiments instead of humans with something to give to society. Your post also reminded me that it takes a great deal of brains, brilliance, determination, drive, skills, pain, endurance, patience and other skills to learn how to navigate spaces like this and even with all of that you still could end up on the curb. It really is a rat race and it is hard out here to say the least. This post also reminded me that Dr. Cottom gave us sound advice to make your best effort to extract as much from these schools and college institutions as you can as it is taking from you and also to prioritize your mental and social emotional health because without that in tact you will not be able to do anything else. There is power in reflecting on your experiences in the schools that have failed you over the years to in turn re-educate yourself and better yourself which I gather you are already doing at this time and I commend you on that.

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