Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2009 Issue »

    Youth Voices

    Chasing the Dream

    Ismael C. E.
    12th Grade, Roosevelt High School, Los Angeles, California

    As Barack Obama takes the presidency, he brings a lot of hope into my goals in my education. He made me keep on achieving in school. It is because of Obama that I have hope of becoming a crime detective. You see, I always had the thought of why should I come to school and do well, if after I finish my high school and college I am not going to get the job that I desire to get. You see, I have a big problem. I am an undocumented student, and it is because of this that it takes many of my benefits away. I do not get the same opportunities as a U.S. citizen. We are judged differently. Moreover, it is because of this that it brings my dreams to not being able to come true. It makes me think, why even try?

    Ever since I was young, I would always have in mind, why should I even try if I am not going to be able to accomplish anything. I am not going to be able to get the job in my career that I studied for. It would be like a waste of my time just attending school and not getting anything out of it. I would always think negatively to myself.

    However, after hearing Obama and Joe Biden’s speeches on a new beginning and a better way of living it brought my hopes up. After hearing them say that students will have better and more opportunities for getting into college, and that illegal immigrants will have better chances as well, it made me want to go to school and get my education. To get my knowledge ready and go after what I want. Having Obama as president makes my dreams come true. He makes me believe that I have a bright future ahead of me and I will not fail. He makes me believe that I will be successful and be able to reach my dreams.

    Having Obama as president makes me want to go back to school on a new day and get my education to succeed in life. It gives me the chance to plan for my career that I desire. In addition, it gives me a great chance of getting legal citizenship. I feel that Obama is going to help the undocumented achievers, and if that was to happen, it would make my problems go away. I will have nothing stopping me from becoming what I want to be as I get older. Now it will be all up to me, but first I need that help of being legalized, of becoming a U.S. citizen, and I hope that he really meant it when he said he will help the undocumented. I am personally in need of citizenship. As Barack Obama steps to take charge of the United States of America, he brings lots of hope into my education, and my future. He opened many doors for many people. He made many people believe that this country will be different, no more wrong decisions, no more wrong results. Now all that I hope for is that Barack Obama is not a liar like the past president, that he is a man of his word and won’t let his people down. Barack Obama will bring change to the United States of America, which makes me feel confident. If it wasn’t for Obama winning the election, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.
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    Summer 2009 Issue


    Editors’ Introduction
    Note to Educators
    Hope Required When Growing Roses in Concrete
    Jeffrey M. R. Duncan-Andrade
    A Dialogue
    Our Selves, Our Students, and Obama
    Jennifer McLaughlin and Kim Kelly
    President Obama and Education
    The Possibility for Dramatic Improvements in Teaching and Learning
    Linda Darling-Hammond
    Promise and Peril
    Charter Schools, Urban School Reform, and the Obama Administration
    Charles Payne and Tim Knowles
    Reclaiming Our Freedom to Teach
    Education Reform in the Obama Era
    Megan Behrent
    Obama’s Dilemma
    Postpartisan Politics and the Crisis of American Education
    Henry A. Giroux
    Second-Class Integration
    A Historical Perspective for a Contemporary Agenda
    Vanessa Siddle Walker
    Equity and Empathy
    Toward Racial and Educational Achievement in the Obama Era
    Prudence L. Carter
    It Wasn’t Easy to Get Here
    Kathleen Mayse
    Obama, Where Art Thou?
    Hoping for Change in U.S. Education Policy
    Wayne Au
    Praise Song for Teachers
    A Call to Action
    Ariane White
    Educating Latino Immigrant Students in the Twenty-First Century
    Principles for the Obama Administration
    Carola Suárez-Orozco and Marcelo Suárez-Orozco
    Education for Everyday People
    Obstacles and Opportunities Facing the Obama Administration
    Gloria Ladson-Billings
    An Insurrectionary Generation
    Young People, Poverty, Education, and Obama
    Jay Gillen
    An Earned Insurgency
    Quality Education as a Constitutional Right
    Robert P. Moses
    Barack Obama and the Fight for Public Education
    William Ayers
    Coda: The Slow Fuse of Change
    Obama, the Schools, Imagination, and Convergence
    Maxine Greene
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