Good evening/morning beautiful people.
First, I just wanted to express my gratitude to my Lord Jesus Christ for granting me all these great opportunities in my life. I have been blessed. After a two year hiatus, I have been back in school since August doing my Masters and I have realized that I am truly privileged and feel honored to be back in academia and to be surrounded by some of the brightest minds in America! Coming from the Bronx I have traveled to different places, met so many different people. All of these experiences has allowed me to gain exposure to the world outside the Bronx. As a result of all these experiences I have grown. Also my identity has been challenged and has changed every time I enter a new environment whether it be a workplace or academic establishment. Furthermore I have learned more about myself as I continue to expose myself to different environments.
However, there are always multiple sides to a coin. While I am in lecture with all these distinguished scientists and professors I think about my hometown (the Bronx). The first thing I think about is all the kids from my birth place and all the teenagers from inner cities across America. I wish they had the same opportunity to learn and gain exposure to college (preferably away from their city on a college campus ie a Bronx kid going to visit Harvard). This will give them a chance to interact with kids form all over the nation and change their myopic views about certain populations and introduce them to new ideas, theories, places, personalities, events, experiences, religions, cultures, values, activities and the list goes on! The social sphere of a academia as well as the academic environment will teach them a lot about life and broaden their horizons. A combination of all these experiences will change their mindset and mold them into multifaceted individuals.
Whenever you put somebody in a totally new and different environment, it is difficult to predict somebody's reaction because everybody has a different upbringing, mentality, personality, cultural values, etc. But one thing is certain, they will have learned something new and that experience will also change some aspect of that person (no matter how subtle the change) while challenging and possibly altering their view on the world! These experiences will set them apart from their peers and also cause them to be leaders and have a positive influence on their peers. Most kids in the inner city that go down the wrong road is because of an absentee father, negative peer pressure, the lack of mentoring and the wrong environment. Some of the kids in urban neighborhoods are just living from day to day hoping they dont get jumped or shot. Some of the brightest souls will never make it out of these environments and gain exposure. Through faith many amazing things can happen and I have faith that some day there will be programs within the inner city public schools that will allow ALL students to gain short term(1 day) or long term exposure(entire college career) to the college environment. Many of these kids will never make it out of Compton or the Bronx. But if they ever were blessed with the special opportunity to attend a lecture with an esteemed research scientist, their lives could change forever!
Alex siging out God bless