By Eboni-Rose Thompson, Ward 7 Representative
I was told by one of my high school teachers that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I believe we will truly be lucky as a city to be a place that measures ourselves not by those who have the most, or by those who have beaten the odds and succeeded, but rather when we measure ourselves by making the odds that our kids do succeed. I imagine that can be true, and I know it is possible not only from my own experience, but from the experience of people like my mom, my stepdad, and my sisters—all D.C. natives, all educated in D.C., all thriving in the city we call home.
My mom is a D.C. Public School (DCPS) teacher, but she wasn’t always a teacher. Long before my mother was in the classroom, she was an electrician. She wired some of the hotel rooms downtown. It’s actually how she met my step dad when they worked together at PEPCO. I remember her working her way through college at the University of the District of Columbia when I was a child. I was at her graduation.
I share that with you because preparation is not one path. It’s making sure our children have the skills to choose their own paths, to change paths, and to create paths that don’t yet exist.
D.C. has so many paths and so many opportunities. We don’t have an opportunity issue—we have a preparation issue. We are a great and powerful city. However, in order for us to be a truly great city, we must become a city that prepares our kids with an education that will allow them to accomplish their dreams.
The mission of the State Board is to provide policy leadership, support, advocacy, and oversight of public education to ensure that every student is valued and learns the skills and knowledge necessary to become an informed, competent, and contributing global citizen. Essentially, the State Board works to make sure our kids are prepared for their dreams.
I went to elementary, middle, and high school in Ward 7. I know firsthand that my childhood friends and college friends were not offered the same educational opportunities. I ran to represent Ward 7 on the State Board of Education because I believe we must prepare all our children to take advantage of the opportunities before them, and I want to work to make that possible for children who went to the schools that I went to, in the part of the city that I grew up in, and still call home. Preparation is the issue I want to solve, and representing Ward 7 on the State Board is my opportunity to help solve it.