If you ask me, "John, why are you so passionate about changing the world," and "why do you believe we can change the world and turn around our communities, schools and the culture of and around our kids?," this amazing school principal, located in East Palo Alto, California, is part of our nation's secret weapon, and my hope. This principal's "hope" connects directly with our 5MK Initiative and coming 5MK "Make Smart Cool Tour. Let's create 1,000 more Amika Guilluame, and a special thank you to Adam Fell, business advisor to my mentor and friend Quincy Jones, for "encouraging others" to support Amika and what she is trying to do with and for our kids.
It’s 3:34 A.M. on Sunday and I lay awake asking myself, “Have I done everything within my power to help my students beat the odds?”
6% According to a recent student from UC Berkeley – the number of my students who will graduate from high school, eligible for college.
11% According to the same study, the number of my students who will graduate from high school, period.
50% Estimated number of my students (according to the 2010 Census) who are considered homeless.
78% Number of my students who are learning English as a second language.
90% Estimated number of my students who qualify for a free or reduced lunch (falling below the poverty line).
100% Number of these students who have the potential to beat the odds.
Friday, April 29th we have an assembly, preparing for . . .
Tuesday, May 3rd we have the most important exam of the year – the California STAR Exam. Students who scores proficient on this exam, can change their lives and the lives of their families forever. If you score proficient in middle school, you get to choose your classes. If you do not, you are assigned “support classes.” If you can imagine, many of the high school dropouts occur because the support classes are not by choice, and you know how important choice is to a teen-ager. You can also imagine how demoralizing it is to take 3-4 hours of English, instead of the engaging electives that make high school worth attending (for many of us). High School dropouts are 8 times more likely to go to prison, than those who graduate. The stakes are high for the middle school students of Cesar Chavez Academy.
Cesar Chavez Academy
2450 Ralmar Ave., East Palo Alto CA 94303
Principal Amika Guillaume