Dear Esteemed Los Angeles College Prep Academy Community,
As I reflect on the beginning of a new school year as your new school leader, it is with great excitement and humility that I introduce myself to our LACPA community. Over the past couple of weeks I have been familiarizing myself with LACPA through conversations with staff, meeting new families and students, and visiting some of you at your homes while distributing chrome books.
What I’ve learned in this short time, is there is an unwavering commitment from the LACPA community to ensure our students are receiving the highest quality educational opportunities to prepare them for college and beyond. Speaking truth to power with the utmost respect for listening to each other’s perspectives is a common strength I have experienced from our powerful LACPA community.
This theme of the LACPA community speaking truth to power reminds me of one of my fondest high school memories during my sophomore year. 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 we begin our 2020-2021 journey physically distant, we will remain socially close. It is in times of great difficulty that we must remain the tight knit community that LACPA has grown to be over the years. Thank you to everyone for such a warm welcome. I look forward to an exciting and memorable school year as we continue to prepare all of our students for college success.