Featured Student – Jesse Sanchez
If I could change one thing about my community, I would increase the number of programs available to youth in order to help motivate them and guide them towards holding themselves to a higher standard and aspiring towards a college degree.
Growing up in an environment that lacked motivational guidance made it difficult for me to succeed academically. My mother was never around to remind me of the importance of simply doing my homework because she hardly received a break from her endless workday. A single mother, she sustained our family on a meager annual income of less than $8,000, yet I was not going to hold our economic status or her absence as an excuse for failure. Although I managed to acknowledge the opportunities available to me, at the same time I noticed how my friends in the neighborhood were not. After encouraging them to excel in school, I did not understand the reasoning for their growing attitudes of passiveness and low self-esteem as they quickly became enveloped in a life of organized violence and narcotics.
Many teenagers view themselves as destined to be unsuccessful due to the social stigmas that resonate through my neighborhood…. The environment in which youths are raised should nourish their growth, not squelch it.
Supportive and motivational programs that inspire students to seek out their own path to college, meanwhile, are vital to the productive growth of a college-bound adolescent. Programs where support is always prominent will help them feel that higher education is in their reach. Reality Changers exemplifies such a program. It acknowledges the importance of early college preparation and motivates students to reach their full academic potential. If more students had access to programs like these, their attitudes would definitely be shaped for the better.
Many teenagers view themselves as destined to be unsuccessful due to the social stigmas that resonate through my neighborhood. The result is a growing passivity and a fear of failure. If the students in my community gain access to programs that will revamp their self-confidence and acknowledge their talents and abilities, a new view of themselves can be molded. Peer Mediation is another program that addresses these issues by conversational motivation and resolve. Family and social life issues present in my community deter students from progress, especially when guidance is not available, but as a Peer Mediator, I provide a social bumper that helps students jump the hurdles present in my low-income, inner-city community.
The environment in which youths are raised should nourish their growth, not squelch it. A union amongst adolescents is essential to building strong social values but is something completely lacking in my community. Youth Groups and school clubs bring teenagers together and help them mature and thus, prepare them for college life.
If students had more access to programs that could foster their potential and help them realize it, success would become more prominent in my community instead of that negative social stigma that hinders students’ evolution. I hope to one day see those in my community take full advantage of the programs made available to them in order to demonstrate, as I have proved, that educational success is possible, no matter what obstacles they face.
Reality Changers Class of 2009