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Education is the ultimate equalizer

Updated: Jul 20, 2020

Meet Diego from The Bronx, New York

From Diego...

Education has given me an avenue to be able to better myself and rise above circumstances I am surrounded by.

When a lot of people think about the Bronx, they tend to lean more towards

viewing it in a negative light. I don’t blame them for that, as there are aspects of day to day life and issues that I see here, which are different from the things that my friends in college have to deal in their respective home environments. Some of these things are violence, poverty, drug use and crime.

Though I am more fortunate than others in the sense that I have a supportive family and I am not directly impacted by these issues, I am reminded that not everyone has the same nurturing environment as mine. I think everyone can benefit from this thinking, as it is easy to point fingers at someone or at a group of people and label them as bad.

It’s fairly easy to succeed when conditions are favorable, when you have all the resources you need to bring out your full potential and contribute to society. Plenty of people here have it tough. I think all these issues I just mentioned are symptoms of a bigger problem, the fact that people here lack something - be it the support network, money to provide for themselves and their families, or quality education for social advancement. People turn to a life of crime or drugs because they see no other way out - they are victims of the circumstances that they have been born under. Many may say that bemoaning one's circumstances or using them as justification for one’s lack of success is an easy way to take away personal blame. To them I say that it is easy to see the light of opportunity when you are surrounded by people who have succeeded and you are in an environment that further aids your efforts to success rather than pulling you down.

Not everyone is as fortunate to live in such an environment. I don’t know what the answer to all these issues is honestly, but I do know that education has given me an avenue to be able to better myself and rise above the circumstances I am surrounded by. I think that this stands to be true for many others as well, so I just wish for more of us to be put in the position to strive for an education and progress.

If education is the ultimate equalizer, then I would like for more of my peers in the Bronx to be given the tools necessary to seek out an education in the first place.

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