Going Back To School in 2020

We’re running out of ways to talk about how unprecedented and unpredictable 2020 has been. So, let’s hear from the Summer Search community.

Last month, Seattle alumna Ehler Tha Win shared her perspective on graduating college into a world facing a pandemic and racial injustice.

Today, we’re excited to share two voices from our high school community — Summer Searchers who are going back to school and navigating COVID challenges and tensions around racial and social issues.

Deborah A., from Summer Search Boston, is a junior at Boston Trinity Academy (who answered our questions via video, above!).

Nayeli J., from Summer Search Philadelphia, is a senior at Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School.

Nayeli on her first summer experience with DEVA Healing Center in 2018.

Question: How has your first month of school been? 

Both Deborah’s and Nayeli’s schools are doing “hybrid learning,” which means a mix of in-person classes and online learning from home.

Deborah: “So, some days I have school, and the next day I don’t. My first month of school has been okay. It’s been hard to get used to… sometimes it can be a little bit challenging, but it’s pretty good.”

Nayeli: “It’s been like a bus hitting me in the face. It has been difficult. I’m not looking forward to hybrid learning because we will all have to wear a mask, but better safe than sorry. I miss my friends and how are we supposed to do our Senior Year?”

Q: Do you have advice on how issues of race and racism should be discussed in school?

Deborah: “There should be a comfortable space where people can discuss… and have civil discourse. It should be a learning process for everybody. To learn from everybody’s experiences… to hear everybody’s opinions. It’s not going to be easy, but we have to start having these conversations in order for us to progress as a society.”

Nayeli: “Schools can be holding a club or group that meets to discuss stigmatic and racist events taking place in our community and country.”

Q: How would you challenge our community to support one another in this very uncertain time?

Deborah: “We have to be very understanding and have empathy for each other, because you don’t know what everybody’s going through… Hear them out and listen to them. And also, if you need help and you need to speak to somebody, reach out for help and speak to somebody!”

Nayeli: “Display acts of kindness towards neighbors and peers to show that there is still good in the world, while society is only focusing on the bad (justly of course).”

Q: What are your plans for after high school (if undecided, what options are you considering)?

Deborah: “See, I was pretty certain that I had a straight path in my life, but after being in quarantine and thinking deeply about things, I’m not really sure. I’m thinking of pursuing something like law.”

Nayeli: “I plan to do a year or two of work and/or travel and then go to college. My major is still undecided.”

Stay tuned as we share more stories from Summer Searchers as they continue to navigate and take on all that 2020 has to throw at them.

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