You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." Shirley H. Chisholm
As I reflect on my educational journey, I attended Jackie Robinson Middle School and for a very short period of time, Prospect Heights High School in Brooklyn, New York. As it is today, students were required to attend their district school. There was one high school in my community and it was known to be a school with less resources, academic challenges, and teacher attrition. My first memorable encounter with inequity in school was a result of my mom advocating for me to be transferred out of my district to attend what she considered to be a better high school. Her request was denied all the way up through the Board of Education. My mom being the advocate that she is, showed up at our Congresswoman’s office and was granted a meeting on the spot. My mom presented her request to our Congresswoman, the late Shirley H. Chisholm. At that time, Congresswoman Chisholm called the Board of Education, our request was granted and I was transferred to Midwood High School and given the opportunity to obtain a quality education.
In the fall of 2018, I enrolled in the University of Richmond’s Master of Nonprofit Studies program with a mindset to learn more about the nonprofit sector and a desire to develop a middle school leadership academy. As I journeyed through the program, I began to realize that what I thought may be a solution to a re-occurring problem in our underserved public schools may not be the solution after all. What I perceived to be a generational achievement gap turns out to be a generational opportunity gap. As such, I am excited about SCORE and engaging with the community (nonprofits, government, corporations, civic leaders, educators, colleges and universities, parents and students) to collectively look deeper and broader at the issues, focus on the inputs, create equitable opportunities, level the playing field to develop young leaders, and increase systemic change in underserved communities.
- Gwen Douglas, Founder