|College Track San Francisco Students Host SFUSD Board Candidate Forum|
On October 11, 2012, College Track hosted a forum for the San Francisco Unified School District’s Board candidates at its new facility, located in the Bayview. Students from various San Francisco high schools organized the forum where candidates responded to the youths’ concerns about their education and queries about their future leaders. The organizers of the event included College Track, Coleman Advocates, a youth advocacy organization, and ten other San Francisco based youth groups.
The forum featured a panel consisting of the twelve competing candidates: Sandra Lee Fewer, Rachel Norton, Jill Wynns, Kim Garcia-Meza, Beverly Ho-A-Yun Popek, Matt Haney, Sam Rodriguez, Shamann Walton, and Paul Robertson.
Students arrived at the event with purpose, anxious to have their questions answered. During the session, the students asked questions such as, “What made one candidate better qualified than another,” and “How the candidates planned to close the achievement gap in San Francisco.”
The students who organized the event said they felt “confident” and “accomplished” afterward, and they should! It is not common for high school students to care about such local issues, however; these youth are aware of the challenges facing their school district and have taken action. They have been proactive about understanding the problem and have committed themselves to being part of the solution.
One can easily recognize the leadership capabilities of these San Francisco students. Their initiative to address local issues is a sign of early activism that will bring them back to their communities as future leaders. Programs like College Track are making this possible - having a spacious new site in the heart of the Bayview is not only providing a physical space for the community to gather, but it is also providing its students with the support, resources, and encouragement to organize and address the issues that affect them directly. College Track strives to transform the communities it supports, and these students, among others, are examples of this transformation in action.