I did not grow up speaking English. When I was born, my parents could not afford to raise me so I was sent to live in China, where I learned to speak Mandarin. As a result, when I came back to attend school in America, I did not speak any English. I struggled in elementary school. Most of my peers spoke English. During those early years, I was almost always extremely confused about what was happening and struggled to catch up to what was being taught in class.
Students who have their major chosen can be more focused. While many students are unsure of their major or field of study after high school, this is not a topic that is often discussed in schools. For myself, I think that without the proper direction of a major chosen and a career to attain, I will feel nervous and perplexed about my future. I need a goal to aim for. I don’t want to be confused when I step into college. I want to devote myself to my major wholeheartedly. If I don’t have a goal to work toward I feel uneasy and confused. I do have some majors I’m considering right now, but I don’t know which one I should focus on and which one will be more fitting.
I have an immense love for education, but I firmly believe that the traditional, one-size-fits-all approach needs to change. This approach can cause disengagement, which I have experienced, and sluggish academic development since the traditional way of receiving an education disregards the unique talents, interests, and learning styles of each student.
I moved to Oakland when I was about 10 years old. It was a struggle. I lived in multiple homeless shelters and I did not have much hope for what I could be and do. Programs like those featured on the BYD website were a haven for me and tons of other Black kids who grew up in similar circumstances.
In this video, MarQuis Evans, the Energy Convertors program manager, talks about how we all have a role to play in helping young scholars succeed in their education, and what that shared accountability means. The 2023 Energy Convertors Oakland Report contains the voices of over 400 students and is a call to action to improve A-G outcomes and outreach. Download the report here.