Photo: Bethany Erickson
In a news cycle that only lends itself to the worst and the very best of public education in Dallas, we rarely hear of the experience of the non-Harvard bound, magnet-school-attending student. Today, I’d like to tell you all about one of those students.
I know this student, Chris, because I’ve fretted and worried and been ecstatic and proud for a whole lot of his Dallas public school experience. He is the Little Brother to my husband and me. My husband and Chris met through Big Brothers Big Sisters not quite 10 years ago, and when my husband and I began dating, Chris became my family, too. One of Tiny’s first visitors was Uncle Chris, who read him a book in the hospital. Uncle Chris is one of Tiny’s favorite people, too.
Tonight, what I like to call an ongoing miracle will happen. When he was five, Chris was hit by a car, causing some brain trauma. He struggled in elementary school to read at grade level. But teachers at Gooch Elementary didn’t write him off but instead worked to get him the help he needed and the encouragement required to do hard work. When he went on to Walker Middle School, teachers and counselors there picked up the baton ably, too.
But it was W.T. White High that gave him his chance to shine. When I met Chris, college was this nebulous idea that left him – you could just tell – a little incredulous. But those teachers and counselors saw his interests, encouraged him to follow them, and he is emerging a young man who will not only be the first person in his family to graduate high school, but also a young man determined to be the first person in his family to graduate from college. (more…)