The Michigan Supreme Court upheld the ban on affirmative action in the public university admissions process, but that does not mean minorities should abandon hopes of attending the universities of their dreams. For now, the chapter on affirmative action has ended in Michigan and many other states, so it’s time to write a new chapter.
I am reminded of Augustin Hadelich, the renown violinist who would not take “no” for an answer. Augustin learned to play the violin when he was 7 years old, and he was exceptional. However, this chapter ended when he was 15 years old. He was severely burned in a fire. Doctors originally told Augustin he might never play the violin again because of the damage to his left arm. With physical therapy and determination, Augustin wrote a new chapter. He persevered and is now a successful violinist who performs all over the world (Schweitzer, 2010).
Grade point average, ACT and SAT scores, college prep courses, essays, and extracurricular activities are just some of the many factors universities use to select students. These factors can be the starting point in beating the odds in the college admissions process. Urban schools need programs that will assist students along their journeys. Programs should focus on study skills, test-taking, and reading and writing. Because higher education is rigorous, students must be offered rigorous courses at the high school level. Furthermore, mentoring and volunteering programs make dynamic extracurricular opportunities for students to learn and hone skills and strategies.
Writing a new chapter might be challenging, but it is not impossible. Woven throughout the rich history of minorities is the golden thread of determination. Frederick Douglass became an intellectual when it was against the law for African Americans to learn to read. George Washington Carver developed more than 100 products from the peanut. Dr. Patricia Bath invented the Laserphaco Probe that improved treatment for cataracts (A&E Television Networks, 2014).
“Remember not to hear praise in a whisper and negative things in a thunder” (Robert J. Wicks as cited in Borchard, 2014).
How have you persevered in the face of adversity? This is the story in you. Share it.
#AffirmativeAction #BanOnAffirmativeActionUpheld #MichiganSupremeCourt #Augustin Hadelich #FrederickDouglass #GeorgeWashingtonCarver #Dr.PatriciaBath #LaserphacoProbe #Cataracts #ACT #SAT #CollegeAdmissions #GPA #GradePointAverage #Minorities #RobertJWicks
A&E Televisions Networks. (2014). A&E television networks, LLC. Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/people/patricia-bath-21038525#inventing-the-laserphaco-probe&awesm=~oCz6T5uBp8YQ7X
Borchard, T. (2014). Everyday health media. Retrieved from http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/5-steps-to-find-calm-an-interview-with-robert-j-wicks/?xid=aol_eh-emo_11_20140421_&aolcat=HLT&icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl8|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D468991
Schweitzer, V. (2010). The New York Times company. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/16/arts/music/16hadelich.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&