Social Impact Assignment
I decided to focus my social impact project on the Latino education gap. As a Latina, I’ve witnessed my parents sacrifice themselves to give my siblings and myself a better life. I’ve always known that there has been a disconnect between Latinos and education. I’ve known many people who have dropped out of school to work either to help provide for their family or because for the first time in their life they had money of their own or because “school wasn’t for them”. I knew it happened but never thought to as the “Why”.
I was fortunate as a young child to have a father that worked hard to provide and a mother that tried to be as involved in our education as possible. Both of my parents emphasized how important education is for better career opportunities and quality of life. Being the child of immigrants, I knew I had to make the most of the opportunity my parents gave me by coming to the United States. I’ve had my struggles and failures and never gave it a second thought as to why so many of my peers struggled to get an education. I assumed it was our own failures, which in some cases it was. I remember growing up and being scolded by others for being so involved in school and being called “wanna be white girl” because education was my priority. I never realized society is teaching us to see our Raza as less than. We are being taught to resonate being educated and successful to being white. Naivety made me blind to the systematic obstacles that were intentionally set for minorities to fail. Our society has made Latinos believe that white people are smart, rich and better and wanting to better yourself for some reason is betraying your culture. In school we’re taught that everyone is created equal and I assumed that meant everyone had the same opportunities. My life experiences and studying sociology have proven otherwise. Although minorities are almost the majority America, we are the less educated, the less represented, the poorest and at times feel like we matter less.
My project is called “Pedazito Mio”, an organization that educates Latino and immigrant parents of the systematic barriers that our children have to pass before they can reach the “starting point” our white peers have. The mission is to create a support group of parents that work together to stay informed and “luchar” for our children to have a fighting chance in this world. Many Latino and immigrant parents work one to three jobs, which make it hard to be highly involved in our children’s educational lives. It’s not impossible and we need to show our children that Latinos are resilient, smart and have so much to contribute. All parents, no matter race or background, are welcome to join and be active in our organization. Pedazito Mio is inclusive to all parents that need a little help to be more involved in their children’s education. Pedazito Mio is in the working stages, but I hope to begin a network of parents to support other parents and help the Raza succeed. Our children need to know that we are more than service workers, drug dealers and failures. We have minds, hearts and souls.