Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Belief

I believe that every student has a right to the same educational opportunities. This means that no matter where a child grew up or what their background is, they all deserve to be educated the same. Since I feel the city I grew up in is quite diverse, I’ve seen this issue main hand. Our city has a variety of private and public schools. Going to a private school is usually a privilege not all children get. Going to catholic schools, I believe I got the best education possible and I consider myself very lucky. However, that opportunity isn’t possible for everyone. In fact there are more public schools than private schools leading to most children only getting a public school education. The fact that public school students might not get the same opportunities isn’t their fault. A lot of families can’t afford the high tuition and every thing else that comes along with it, especially in today’s economy. So how is it fair that an innocent child might not have the same opportunities as their friend at a catholic school?
This issue became so important to me when I was 13 years old. Through the Erie Insurance Pfeiffer Burleigh Partnership, my mom and a couple of her co workers would go into a second grade class at Pfeiffer Burleigh, a public school in downtown Erie. The program brought the students all over the city to places they might not have gotten a chance to visit other wise. Places like the zoo, museums, the court house, chuck e cheese and even McDonalds.  It all started for me one day when I had off school and had to go with my mom to work. On this June day, her team took them to the zoo. When we first got there, all the students screamed with excitement, so much I got chills. They loved my mom and she was their relief. Through out the day I got a chance to hang out with most of the students and even though they were all different, they all had one thing in common, they were happy. They had no idea that their school was poor or that there was a whole other side to life they might never get to experience. After this day, I always seemed to manage to get out of school to go with my mom. Of course, in high school, I did all of my service hours through the program. Even at holidays my mom and her program would throw the students parties in their classroom and buy them all small presents. I can remember going shopping for all sorts of fun little things for goodie bags and taking hours to put them together. Of course seeing the looks on their faces was completely worth it. We were providing them with something they might not get at home and that’s a huge deal to them. Also during winter months, my mom and I would bring them warm hats and gloves to stay warm.

 Sadly, about 2 years ago my moms company decided her program wasn't in the budget anymore. This news was so sad to me. Not only are these students missing out but now I couldn't help out anymore. These kids were so fun to be around because they seemed to have no worries in the world. They made me forget my own troubles and learn to appreciate what I have. This experience is reason enough for me to want to become a teacher and do every thing in my power to help out the less fortunate and try to give them all of the opportunities I had as a student. 

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