I continue to go to my teachers with questions because I feel it is important to ask for help when I need it. Asking for help is not something to be ashamed of. I find that it not only strengthens my knowledge, but allows me to form relationships with teachers that will then nurture my growth in an academic setting. I was lucky enough to have teachers that wanted me to do well and worked to get me to where I needed to be.
With that being said, students must also want to excel. You must want to learn, because that's half of the battle. When people see others showing endless effort and a thirst for knowledge, they cannot turn that away.
Students of color should be able to feel as though their presence is welcomed in these classrooms. They should feel as though they will be able to succeed and feel supported by their fellow peers and teachers. That if they do choose to go to their teacher for help, they will be heard and given the materials that they need to succeed.
A lot of the time students of color may not even have these classes on their radar due to the lack of support they are getting.
I believe that students of color, if given the opportunity, will be able to rise to the occasion and excel.
I am tired of taking classes where I have to actively search for other students who look like me. Representation is important. Seeing Black excellence is important for Black students.
Being a person of color, I thoroughly understand the impact of diversity and how positive it can be to see faces like your own in academic settings. Seeing teachers and students that look like me has helped me stay focused and want to continue taking difficult classes.
Just as it is important for the media to display a plethora of faces, AP and honors classrooms should show a diverse selection of students, all of whom are thriving in those academic settings.
If you are a teacher or counselor, I encourage you to tell your students of color to take AP and honors courses.
If you are a person of color reading this article, I encourage you to take AP and honors courses. I encourage you to reach out for help if you need it. I encourage you to take classes that you are interested in and classes that you have never thought about taking.
I believe in you and your success!
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