EMK-Student Government Reform and Financial Support
My name is Au’Vonnie Dorsett, and I am a current senior, of the Kennedy Academy. My small competitive charter high school in Boston operates on a meager budget compared to other equally competitive public schools. Even after researching data provided by the school committee, I can only conclude that our size and school classification as a charter school is to blame. As a result, school administrators have been forced to limit extracurricular activities in favor of focusing on our school’s mission to promote health careers. However, I believe the limited resources available compromise the high school education provided to me and my peers and without an active student government association we cannot voice our growing discontent. I am currently in the process of trying to lead a campaign to reactivate our student government that I hope will provide a means to begin implementing changes to improve our high school experience.
When I reflect back to my freshman year in high school, I can still remember having a student government filled with amazing leaders, who made it possible for us to participate in clubs and engage in amazing opportunities. We had a club for everyone: sewing, reading, student led study hall, study abroad, fundraising, etc. The student government advocated for us, and ultimately found ways to make our desires come to fruition through fundraising. My freshman year was the last time we had a choice of clubs to join. Presently we have boys and girls basketball teams as well as a very disjointed version of a track team which has been especially disappointing for me. The challenge to maintaining athletic programming has been the cost of supplies, space to practice, providing away game transportation and identifying qualified coaching staff. Since most students come from low-income families, it has been hard to find an alternative to the school funding the teams. With an annual budget of 2.9 million dollars focused on covering administrative expenses, no reasonable argument has been made for how else to allocate funds. I don’t believe my school community should be punished or left to deal with the circumstances of limited funding which is why I want to lead a group of motivated students bold enough to advocate for change that starts with talking with our principal.(pbs.org)
As I see it, we need a group of at least 7 students committed to creating a list of concerns that can be discussed with our school’s administration. I would like to see our small group, representing the newest attempt at reinvigorating the Student Government Association, to begin a fundraising campaign. In addition, we would need to poll students to learn more specifically of their needs and then prioritize what to address first. It is clear that the senior class cannot impact itself but it would be awesome to pass on a functioning organization to the rising senior class. Considering my school’s strength and unity, I know that re-creating a student government is possible. With my leadership, determination and motivation, I am excited to work with my fellow classmates to leave a functional organization for future students. I would appreciate a support system from you all, to stress the importance of my efforts and how significant such reform can be to our school as a whole. Thank for your time, and I hope that my goal is appreciated enough to make reform for my school community.
Au’Vonnie DorsettCurrent Senior of Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers