Opinion

Insights from thought leaders working to improve the lives of America’s Youth

Azariah “Z” Estes

Azariah “Z” Estes

Youth Author
This piece is part of “Dear Adult Leaders: #ListenToYouth,” a four-week series produced in collaboration with The 74 to elevate student voices in the national conversation as schools and districts nav
Olivea Doyle

Olivea Doyle

Youth Author
Acknowledging the importance of youth participation and giving them a platform does not diminish the authority of educators and school leaders. Instead, collaboration between adults and young people can help strengthen relationships between students and adults because students feel like their voices and contributions are valued and it only further strengthens our systems.
Gabe Abdellatif

Gabe Abdellatif

America’s Promise Youth Leadership finalist
This piece is part of “Dear Adult Leaders: #ListenToYouth,” a four-week series produced in collaboration with The 74 to elevate student voices in the national conversation as schools and districts nav
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Lillian Perriello

Student Writer, Wilmington High School
As classrooms and our nation become more diverse, it is essential that schools become more inclusive and representative in how they teach our shared history. To do so, state boards of education like ours should adopt social studies standards that encourage an honest, inclusive teaching of our nation’s history and that highlight the contributions and experiences of people of color.
Jazmin R. Moran

Jazmin R. Moran

Student Writer, Tacoma School of the Arts
I have been working to reevaluate the curriculum at my school by working in a collaborative group between students and staff called the Equity Team. I’ve been talking specifically to English teachers to see how we can shift the curriculum so that it incorporates honest lessons about our country’s history.
Cristian Gaines
Youth Board Trustee, America's Promise Alliance
Last year, my closest friend faced perpetual racial abuse at school. Teammates called him a “cocky n***er” in the locker room, and he was ostracized by football coaches as they practiced after METCO buses (Boston’s integration program) had left. The overwhelming distress and his countless failed attempts to receive support drove him out of Newton North High School. Make no mistake — this is racism. This is a direct removal of integrated Black students from our school.
Darlene Folas

Darlene Folas

Student Writer, Swarthmore College
The ever-increasing movement to depoliticize schools is ultimately a disservice to our society with inherently hypocritical goals. Let there be no mistake; schools are political. They always have been. What they teach is political. Who they teach is political. Who they don’t teach is political. Everything down to the when and where is political. And there is not a more significant example of this than racism in America.
Bhavana Akula

Bhavana Akula

Student Writer, Colts Neck High School
I had my first Asian teacher this year after 11 years in our public school system. I didn’t quite recognize this fact or its weight at first — to have a teacher who looked like me. But as the year unfolded, I found myself able to open up about societal and family stress that had often left me feeling isolated with no one who could fully understand the complexities of the pressures I was navigating.
Isaac Espinal
Former Youth Board Member, America’s Promise
As I continue to grow both as a person and as a member of my community, I hear words such as “change,” “progress,” “reform,” and “equity.” These words are the words of educated minds that understand t
Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend

Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend

President and CEO, Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN)
This month, The YES Project at America’s Promise Alliance is releasing a three-part blog series to illuminate the ways in which employers, youth-supporting programs, and intermediary organizations are
Charles Hiteshew

Charles Hiteshew

Executive Director, Hire Opportunity Coalition
This month, The YES Project at America’s Promise Alliance is releasing a three-part blog series to illuminate the ways in which employers, youth-supporting programs, and intermediary organizations are
Nathalia Galan Herrera

Nathalia Galan Herrera

Intern, America's Promise Alliance
Tens of thousands of Latinos have lost their jobs, and for those who remain employed, many are essential workers who often work without access to the necessary protective equipment and are at greater risk of being exposed to the Coronavirus. The children of Hispanic and Latinx parents are, therefore, at increased risk of being exposed as well.