BY ANITA ADIUKWU
The late Malcolm X once said, “education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” We know there’s inequality in education because the government tends to spend more money in schools with rich kids compared to other schools that do not have rich kids. This leads to a huge educational gap among schools. This, in turn, leads to more people not taking their education seriously and more people not graduating from high school. To combat wealth inequality, the city of Boston must prioritize Education and Youth Programs because school environments should be made comfortable enough for all students to feel welcomed, programs should be provided to encourage students to go to college, and when students are successful in school, they have a chance of having a better future for themselves. The school environment should be made comfortable enough for all students because it gives them a sense of belonging.
In “Youth From Every Quarter" by Kirstin Valdez Quade a young student named Ana leaves her home in Oregon and attends a summer program at Elliot Academy, an elite New England Boarding school. In the narrative, Ana feels out of place and sometimes lonely because the school was mostly made up of rich students, which she wasn’t. She also struggles with academics and fails most of her classes. Since Ana came from a less elite school, and poor family background, she was far behind in her classes. It wasn’t about Ana’s potential, it was about the resources she that she could not access. This shows that the same education should be taught throughout every school. In the text, Kirstin writes about her experience as she tries to advocate for Ana, “The dean held my gaze and nodded. It would be a shame if Ana left, she said, her voice even. And you’re nice to show concern. But not everyone belongs at Elliot” (Valdez-Quade 25). The dean sees Ana struggles as inferior and refuses to help her. Ana’s future was determined by the resources she did not previously have. Elliot was an elite school, her school wasn’t, and this proves that the education she received from her school wasn’t preparing her for other schools’ rigorous demands. No matter what school you attend in Boston, students shouldn’t feel that they don’t belong or are not welcomed in a school that claims to have diversity and prioritizes its students first. To say that not everyone belongs at a school is just wrong, because the school made that call when it accepted its students. Students should be treated the same way and equally, no one should be treated more than others, because all students are entitled to all things a school has to provide.
Programs must be provided to support and encourage students to go to college because they need to feel confident in themselves and in the fact that there are people looking out for them. In his narrative,”Hurray for Losers,” Dagoberto Gilb describes his life growing up in Los Angeles and how people never really talked about college because not one of them had ever gone to college. None of them talked about going to college because no one expected them to go. In the text, Gilb states, “I remember, I listened. No one talked college years or the kind of jobs that were for them. All of my friends, ones who weren’t into glue… talked about jobs and income as soon as they got out” (Gilb 25).” No one talked about going to college or took the initiative to do so because he or she didn’t think it was that important, but education plays a big role in someone's future. When students go to college, there are more opportunities out there for them because they worked hard in school and were able to get the help they needed. Education is the key to all success. By offering youth programs and college preparatory curriculums to all students, Boston’s youth will be taught of the importance of to go to college and be encouraged to do so. Students who are successful in school, have a better chance of having a better future, compared to someone else who doesn’t, because they were successful in school.
Prioritizing Education and Youth programs first helps to combat wealth inequality because with education solved, more business opportunities are opened to more people, since there are more people qualified for jobs. In order to combat wealth inequalities, education and Youth programs should be prioritized because should environments should be made accepting toward all its students, educational programs should be provided to help students, and when students succeed in school, they have an opportunity to have a better life for themselves. By reforming schools, we are at least one step closer to overcoming wealth inequality because education is the key to success, with it, there are many people who are going to be qualified for so many different jobs, leading to many job opportunities and employment. When people are given the quality education they need in order to succeed in life, they have a lot of job opportunities open for them. Wealth inequality happens because wealth is focused more on a particular group of people, but if it was spread equally throughout different groups of people, life would be easier for so many people.
Anita is a sophomore at Boston Collegiate Charter School. She is a brilliant scholar, exceptional artist, member of the track team and a founding member of the #blackgirlmagic community group at BCCS.