It is one HARD DANG THANG to be in schools that don’t prepare us to compete in a global society. It is a hard DANG THANG to feel like you’re the problem and live a life where you internalize the failures of schools in your neighborhood because you know that kids in other communities don’t have that lifelong burden. It is a HARD DANG THANG to graduate from high school that was built for 1000 but forced 4000 students on a year-round calendar. It is a HARD DANG THANG to be a teenage mom who works full-time and goes to school after work. It is a HARD DANG THANG to go to drop out of community college because the system doesn’t really help you stay in college if you’re working class person, and even less, if you’re a working class mom. It is a HARD DANG THANG for you to work a full-time job that doesn’t bring you joy because you have children to take care of and responsibilities that come with single-parenting. It is a HARD DANG THANG for you to go back to community college and work full-time. TWICE. It is a HARD DANG THANG for you travel outside of your school district EVERY DAY FOR 12 YEARS to find the best school you could in a neighboring school district because you wanted the best school for your daughter and neighboring schools failed you. You didn’t trust them with your daughter. It is a HARD DANG THANG for you to take out your daughter of that school when it wasn’t good enough for her and find another school choice in high school for your daughter. It is a HARD DANG THANG for you to send that same baby you had as a teen, now 17 years old away to college, as the first one in her family to move away to college. It is a HARD DANG THANG to be devastated by having to be on a waitlist for a charter school because there were too many students and not enough seats for your second baby. And you KNOW what the limited alternatives your son had. It is a HARD DANG THANG to keep going to school full-time, raising your second baby while your first one is in college. It is a HARD DANG THANG to live by example and go to school, even when you’re tired, stressed and feel defeated. It is a HARD DANG THANG to be an adult and have adult responsibilities, face single-parenting and educating people via La Comadre, which you helped start AND go to college full-time. The stats say that it is a HARD DANG THANG to transfer from a community college because only 10% do and only 2% of those who enter community college ever graduate from a 4-year university. It is a HARD DANG THANG to graduate from community college. It is a HARD DANG THANG to get accepted into a 4-year university. And yet, my beautiful sister, you have done all of these things. And this March 3, which commemorates the 49th anniversary of Chicano students beginning a week long protest against the racist policies in Los Angeles Schools, a symbol of our community’s resistance, history and ability to thrive despite unbelievable odds…you are doing it.
Congratulations on this 18 year long journey!
Congratulations on being accepted to a 4-year university!
We all celebrate with you, Comadre!!!
Alma V. Marquez
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