November 22, 2002
I work at an elementary school in a district with a high drop-out rate. Many see school as an impediment to a full-time job working for minimum wage, while others get to high school where the work is hard and they don't get so much individual attention. College is often not even an option. A teacher I work with and I came up with a great field trip idea. First we had the students perform a mock courtroom debate, one side for staying in school, the other side against. I was called to the stand as a witness, because I go to school full-time AND work. I also receive financial aid. I tried to explain to the students that it is possible and that they can do it. Many students were intrigued and hands shot up. I felt this wasn't enough, so I suggested that we take a field trip to the university I attend. I spoke to a professor of mine who is more than willing to have this class visit one of hers so they can see that higher education is attainable. My professor also suggested that we meet with student aid representatives to discuss scholarships, grants, and loans. We will also ask the university's hispanic organization to meet with us since 99% of the class is Mexican-American. This trip is planned for next semester, after the Christmas break, and I can't wait to see these students experiencing a college classroom - it's something a lot of us take for granted!