School Choice and My New Dream

As an adult, I have found it necessary to carve out time to reflect.  I find that thinking deeply and carefully about things helps me better understand the world around me. More importantly, it helps me see what I can do to make things better.

I had the fortunate experience to have an English teacher as a mother. She taught my siblings and me to love books. She showed us that we could travel through time.  We could see all of the beauties of the world.  We were able to read about all of the heroes that paved the way for us to do great things. Because of the great educator I had at home, I learned to explore the world. I became fascinated with the pyramids. I looked at the various wonders of the world and was in awe that the same water that separates us also allows us to come together.

As a child, I was amazed that the earth rotated on an axis at 1,000 miles per hour but I never felt the movement. I learned that the temperature of the sun can reach more than 27-million degrees and yet I could stand outside and not burn. Because of the educator at home, I read about the many contributions of historical figures like Catherine the Great, Gandhi, Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr. My mother told me I could do anything and because of the books I read, I believed her.

As an adult, my dreams and aspirations have become more tempered. I no longer want to save Gotham City. The things that awe me are more present and practical. I dream of helping children. I dream about what the world would look like if every child were given the foundation that I had. I excelled academically but often wonder what would have happened if I did not have an educator at home.

The things that awe me now are the young people I work with every day. They excel in spite of, not because of. They deal with unimaginable home situations that span from drug abuse to mental and physical abuse. I have talked to students that have slept on the floor in front of the door to keep their parent from leaving to score drugs. Many live with other family members. They leave deplorable homes to go to deplorable schools.

These realities have focused my dreams.  I work diligently every day to ensure that families are able to give their child a quality education. For me, this starts with empowering them with the opportunity to choose where their child is educated. It starts with school choice. When I think about the school systems across the country, I understand that systems are not as important as young people. The educator gave me the tools I needed to dream and make a difference. Now, I work to make sure that all young people dream and have the opportunity to experience the confidence and reality of their dreams.