For the Racial Injustice project, my group and I focused on the research question: “how does institutional racism affect how students of color perform in secondary school and how prepared they are for college?” For our project, we created a social media page (empowerdc_edu on Instagram) where each of us focused on different subjects for each month. These subjects included: the introductory story posts, in-feed “welcome” post, and began an HBCU series, informative posts in regards to Standardized testing (ACT/SAT), as well as subject tests, Finding a College and Mapping Out 4-Year Plan, Scholarships, Common App, Coalition, Letters of recommendation, Organizing Application Deadlines, College Interviews, and Financial Aid posts. We started posting at the end of February and created at least one post a week and have a total of four to eight posts monthly. Then we began collaborating with Raising a Village (RAV), we ended up using an Eagle Endowment grant to give over 200 students at RAV a supply kit containing a pack of pencils, pens, erasers, notebooks, highlighters, glue, folders, crayons, and a pencil pouch. By giving students the material and financial resources they need, it can help to reduce the achievement gap and lead them to success in the future. Our project has provided significant resources and information aimed at helping students with the college application process. By doing so, we can give them access to crucial information they may not be provided with at school. Students in predominantly Black and Brown communities are greatly disadvantaged since they are under-resourced and underfunded. This can have a critical impact on their college readiness, and academic success. We have found a way to make this information available to everyone in hopes to target the achievement gap.

During the implementation process of this project, I learned more about being able to form memorable educational resources. Being able to trust my group while having meaningful dialogue and debate around the achievement/opportunity gap has allowed me to grow by being more open, I always voice my opinion even if it may be different from the others in my group. This year has been difficult since we are virtual but I still learned so much and was able to grow.

This being my first year in the SPA Leadership Program, I believe that I am honored to have such a great group. My team and I worked very well together and we all contributed our opinions, ideas, and work in our project. In my opinion, we have not had any issues in our group since we trust and respect one another. Overall, I am very happy with how our project turned out and believe that we are right on track.