The Angela diaries: Once upon a time I was in High School.
It wasn’t for me. I was too damn smart for my own good (according to both parents and teachers, alike). I was bored. I was the annoying kid who wanted to learn, but instead I disappeared. I didn’t do my work, I barely went to class, I shocked my teachers when I turned in research papers (they were a hobby of mine and always very well done), I goofed off a lot, I got in trouble sometimes, yet I aced exams and I graduated as a mediocre student, with mediocre grades, and with a mediocre future.
I was recently reminded of the National Teen Leadership Program by a Chicas Latinas de Sacramento member, when she asked if I could put a volunteer opportunity of theirs on our calendar. Until this moment, I had totally forgot — I went to NTLP in High School! (Volunteer opportunity is on the calendar – Aug. 2nd volunteer date, deadline July 25.)
In high school, a kid in my graduating class had to drop-out from attending the conference and someone recommended that I take their place. ME. I forget who recommended me, probably a teacher who received a research project of mine. I remember the counselors being very reluctant about sending me: this brown girl who liked to ditch and was sitting comfortably on a 2.0 grade point average. I went through the interview process and they surprisingly sent me away to the conference. I can’t say it was a life changing experience in that moment, but overtime, definitely.
I do believe that it is our responsibility to provide our children with opportunities, to give them new experiences, discover what inspires them, advocate for education equality, but most importantly — NEVER GIVE UP TRYING — regardless of where they’ve been, where they’re at, and where YOU think they’re headed. You can’t change your path unless you’re aware that other paths exist, especially as a child.
Someone took a chance on me, I was given a unique opportunity and shown a different path. I’m fully aware of what I looked like on paper, but that was not who I was — I’m beyond thankful that there were people in my life who took notice and took action.
Today I am blessed to be in a position to advocate on behalf of Sacramento’s youths. I’ve learned about so many great programs over the years and support them when I can. Enter perfect opportunity to support…
This Thursday Eric Ratinoff’s #Network4Cause will benefit Breakthrough Sacramento. If you’re not familiar with this program, I invite you to join us!
Free Registration: http://bit.ly/network4causebreakthrough
Breakthrough Sacramento is a public-private partnership providing a year-round, tuition-free, college preparatory program for academically motivated, ethnically diverse students from under-resourced schools in the Sacramento area.
92% of Breakthrough Sacramento graduates attend college directly after graduation, as opposed to 34% of low-income students nationally and only 29% in the Sacramento area.