My agent of change project was to research School District of Philadelphia budget cuts and to do field work like rallies to spread awareness throughout our schools to create positive changes and more funding. In my researching over the past year in my previous first and second blogs, in which I talked about city-wide school funding cuts and how this affect me and my school, as well.
In spreading awareness for my cause I went to several rallies, one outside Gov. Tom Corbett’s Philadelphia office organized by Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild or POWER for short. According to their website, POWER aims “to bring people together across the lines of race, faith, income level and neighborhood -- lines which have historically kept Philadelphians divided” The two other rallies I completed were outside of my school made to get the attention of passersby on the streets. But besides my individual actions, Philadelphia School District budget hearings were also taking place.
I believe my rallies outside of my school have made less of an impact than POWER’s “Death of a School District” mock funeral for funding and awareness because it was larger and in a better location. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers was a driving force behind most of the school rallies I attended. Having both teacher and student representation rallying together for a common cause made rallies more powerful showing that students care about their teachers and their schools.
In the past months I feel accomplished because even though my changes might have been small in this big issue I absolutely helped add my voice to this very important topic for Philadelphia students and our schools. I learned that I can persevere and I worked hard to get my message out and to share my voice in support of making a stronger School District for me and all Philadelphia students. Through this process I felt connected to my fellow students, my teachers and my community. I found that other people may not be open to the cause when you first talk to them, but as I stated before, if you persevere you can get them to understand your point better.
In working on the You and the World project over the past few months, I’ve learned about myself and other individuals and groups who take up the cause for what they believe. Aforementioned in my blog is POWER, a group of Philadelphia activists who are working to better all of Philadelphia for its residents. The Philadelphia School District is a huge deal for me because I have been a public school student since pre-school and this project has helped me give back to an organization that has been so helpful to me. My involvement in support of the District has also allowed me to show my support of my teachers who have enabled me to be a better person.