My Plan To Challenge Myself

Emmanuel Jones, Staff Writer

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             On Wednesday, February 13, I was invited to go to the Media Center for a discussion and pizza. While I was there I noticed that the other people who were invited as well were people of color like myself. As I had come to my realization, the staff that consisted of Mr. Naglee, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Scarbro, Mr. Brown (Guidance Counselor), Mrs. Scott, and Mrs. Blue, were getting started. Mr. Naglee summarized why we were gathered here saying, “You were all picked, because you’re able to take these courses and pass”.

            While he was talking, we were handed these papers with AP/IB courses and Mrs. Scott took the stage. Mr. Rogers told me that all 6 of them are part of a team called EOS (Equal Opportunity Schools) and that they were visited by a man named Marquise Roberson. After Mrs. Scott finished she introduced Mr. Rogers to take the floor and he talked to us about how the majority of the school is made up of minorities however only a small amount of minorities are apart of AP/IB classes. During his speech he showed us a graph in which had numbers if the demographic within Page High School and Guilford County High Schools.

              Seeing as we as people of color made up most of the school I couldn’t help, but think why is this? Mr. Rogers told me that “Students pick their own classes in 8th grade as to what they’d like to take in High School.” However I never did; the school picked for me. As he was telling me this I wondered how many other people didn’t choose their classes. After Mr. Rogers finished, Mr. Brown, went up to talk.

              As he was talking he used the format of sports and how he was struggling in high school when his coach pushed him to the limits and how he was doing all this weird stuff to be prepared. He said, “I wanted to quit, but he didn’t let me and he kept pushing me harder and harder.” As I looked around I seen many people relating to what he was saying about being pushed athletically to do what was needed to do to conquer. By the time Mr. Scarbro was getting on, the bell rang and many people in first lunch didn’t get to hear him talk; however, I was allowed to stay to take pictures and write this article.

             So in second lunch I heard him speak about his life. He said “I was never given the opportunity to take AP or IB classes It was just not an option.” He continued saying, “I was born in a single parent household,” which made it even more relatable for most, including myself. As he kept talking, I noticed the expressions many people made.

             They were focused and they understood every word that came out of his mouth. After he finished, Mrs. Blue walked closer to the board to explain the gap in the system and how us taking higher level courses could increase the rates of graduation and increase the rates of us getting better jobs. At the end of each meeting Mr. Naglee always asked, “How many of you are ready to take AP classes?” which all of us raised our hands. I found it inspirational and interesting to AP classes because it could actually push me to and beyond my limits.

              After this we were all allowed to leave and go back to our classes. Recently we met in G-Wing to talk about future classes that we would like to take and that we found interesting. We were all allowed to be in a random group so that we could discuss and make plans for taking the classes. Due to this happening, I was allowed to visit Mr. Tangredi’s AP English Language class and I absolutely enjoyed it. I felt like it was in my area of study and I felt completely comfortable with it. I believe that EOS will help more students graduate high school with a hard working mindset and a feeling of success to find our place in society.