In a letter to the editor, West New York Board of Education candidate Boris Gresely says the school district “needs to continuously evolve.”
As a resident and proud product of the West New York School District, I am honored to serve this community and my alma mater as a candidate for the West New York Board of Education.
On June 2011, I along with 300 of my Memorial High School peers joined in the celebratory gesture of proudly tossing our caps into the air.
It was a majestic moment that was almost immediately followed by a set of daunting questions. We found ourselves asking “Am I ready for college?,” “Will I be able to afford it?,” or even “How do I apply?”.
Through hard work, persistence, and with the support of my family and mentors, this proud product of the WNY School District was fortunate enough to have secured an acceptance to Syracuse University.
Many of the students at SU came from affluent communities nationwide that had prepared them in various ways for a college education, a situation quite opposite from my own.
The more time I spent at SU the more I noticed the lack of support available for first generation college students, and set out to make a difference by helping Syracuse University become more inclusive and united.
By my third year in college I had become the second Latino Student Body President of Syracuse University.
Essentially, I found myself representing and advocating for over 14,000 undergraduate students on matters regarding: university policy, academic affairs, administration relations and overall student welfare.
Present day I have completed my undergraduate education with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Policy Studies. However, my relationship with higher education has not ended. I look to further enhance my skill set and interests in Law School while continuing to find ways to support my community.
In an era where success is constantly defined by a college degree, we find that access and aid to achieve this degree are difficult to come by, especially in communities facing social and economic challenges.
In our community we face many of these challenges. Obstacles such as: unemployment, public safety, and a lack of economic prosperity ⎯ all play factors in the success of our students and community alike.
Yet, we sometimes forget about two of the most important factors that play a role in our community: hope and persistence.
Despite tough circumstances, students, families and teachers in our community still strive to produce and provide their best work everyday to overcome these struggles.
Day in and out, I witness these acts of hope and persistence in my own household. I see my two younger siblings working hard and being guided by their teachers to overcome statistics that plague communities like ours.
Statistics that state low-income students are six times more likely to drop out of high school, or in our communities’ case a frightening statistic that states only 33% of our high school students are college ready.
It is because of the hopeful and persistent people of WNY, along with these statistics, and my own educational experiences that I would like to focus my efforts on improving the college preparation of high school students while on the Board of Education.
While college admission becomes more competitive and degrees are required for work positions, the West New York School District needs to continually evolve in order to meet the necessities of our student population.
Although faced by many adversaries, I am confident that through the work and support of the Board of Education, school teachers, staff, and administration ⎯ our students will be successful as they face their educational future.
￼￼Below I have laid out a couple of objectives I would like to see the West New York BOE focus on in addition to the work that is already being done:
For more information please visit www.borisgresely.com.