Monday, March 7, 2011

The Rhymes of a Discriminated Student - Wake Up America!

I always have a lot to say about how our culture leaves youth behind and how our education system is inherently discriminatory.  However, I have never put it quite so eloquently as our young man Elmer Reyes.  Here he offers his firsthand account as a student in South Central Los Angeles.  Listen to his mix of gratitude, recognition and intelligent anger as he cries out to all of us to become heroic teachers, mentors and a more just society.

The Rhymes of a Discriminated Student

There is a huge epidemic in the United States.
The achievement gap shows the devastating rates.
The statistics are staggering, it has to change.
The system is corrupted, it’s not the same.
The poor minority students think it’s a game.
African American and Latino students don’t find it strange.
But all the schools in urban cities compare a cage.
Keeping students confined like if they’re insane.
That’s what gets most of them enraged.
And leads to high school dropouts that didn’t graduate.
If only teachers knew how to motivate.
Instead of teachers who discriminate.
To give students a chance and communicate.
There would be more students to educate.

As the white, middle class, majority students succeed.
Urban city students roam the streets.
Not caring about a high school diploma or a college degree.
Causing the achievement gap to increase.
What type of solution does it take to make the gap decrease.
The one that has teachers actually teach.
To show students something they’ve never seen.
To make their dreams a reality.
And they can be what they want to be.
If only teachers had this ability.
Then the achievement gap would be filled with tranquility.
And have both majority and minority students in universities.

Urban city schools have so many problems.
People have to find away how to solve them.
Like one of my teachers that was involved in
After school programs where students would taunt him.
But slowly gained their respect and then brought them
Books that he would give and then taught them
How to get good grades in school projects.
He motivated and pushed them to accomplish.
A high school diploma that he promised.

My teacher had the skill to communicate
With minds that were hard to educate.
This is a solution that can make change.
If only there were more teachers that were the same
The achievement gap would have never been made.
I’m sure this solution will even out the rates.
That have been made and claimed
Throughout the United States.
Imagine all of the graduations.
Caused by teachers that had communication.
That stayed after school with dedication.
And gave urban city students inspiration.
And let them see that success comes from education.
That knowledge is power there should be no hesitation.
All the teachers need the communication.
To give urban city students motivation.
 Elmer Reyes

Thanks Elmer for sharing your voice with us and reminding us of our responsibility toward the education of all youth.

Elmer and his Mentor Jeff at Warner Bros.

Tony LoRe
CEO/Founder, Youth Mentoring Connection / Urban Oasis

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