Dear Esteemed Los Angeles College Prep Academy Community,
As we reflect on the beginning 2022 in the next few days, it is with great excitement that we introduce many new resources for the LACPA community. Over the past 15 months our team has collaborated with students, families, community members, and our new school board re-imagining what is means to prepare our students for college and beyond. With the ongoing trauma our communities endure from systemic oppression in all aspects of our lives, we have taken bold and courageous steps to center our educational approach from a place of LOVE, PEACE, JUSTICE, and IMAGINATION.
What we continue to build upon is our communities unwavering commitment to ensure our students are receiving the highest quality learning experiences to prepare them for college and their lives after high school. Speaking truth to power with the utmost respect for listening to each other’s perspectives is a common strength we continue to rely on as an asset in our re-design of the high school experience.
This theme of the LACPA community speaking truth to power reminds me of one of my fondest high school memories during my sophomore year in high school. I attended an event at UC Berkeley with Filipino college students who delivered powerful poems about our struggles as a community with racism in America. It was my first educational experience that Brazilian educator Paulo Freire describes as “education for liberation” providing me an example (through the poems I heard) of how educational experiences could develop a deeper social consciousness about my own oppression and how to free myself and my Filipino community.
As I further developed my Filipino identity, I was building solidarity with other socially conscious students of color. Through my involvement with the arts movement, in the San Francisco Bay Area, I developed my voice which ultimately lead me to the classroom where I taught Ethnic Studies and other Social Studies courses. All in the spirit of those first experiences that I was privileged to have on the UC Berkeley campus as a 16 year old high school student.These informal college tours to UC Berkeley transformed my life. These transformative college prep moments developed my social consciousness. It is these experiences that continue to inspire me to develop educational spaces that inspire students to think critically about the world and to create positive change.
As 2021 comes to a close and we begin 2022, I am certain that our community will continue to elevate our school to new heights that we never dreamed possible. We've developed deep community partnerships that never existed in a short time span in the middle of a global pandemic. We've amplified a love for play and criticality amongst our student body. And we have created several long lasting memories through the various transformational experiences that have rekindled our belief that a good school can change the world! Thank you to everyone for an amazing 2021 and I look forward to a memorable 2022 as we continue to prepare all of our students for college success.