Ted Talks:"Why open a school ? To close a prison" - Nadia Lopez

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Ted Talks:"Why open a school ? To close a prison" - Nadia Lopez

Post by DELAITE Carine on Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:23 pm

Nadia Lopez opened a school in 2010 "Mott Hall Bridges Academy" in order to close a prison. Indeed, her school is located in Brownsville in Brooklyn that is among the most underserved and violent neighborhoods in all of New York City. For her, education is a priority for all of young people in order to go out the poverty and the violence. But this project has had a difficult start, indeed it had to find teachers who understand the complexities of a disadvantaged population, lack of subsidies for new technologies, poor parental and neighborhood gangs establishing in the youngest age of neigborhoods' childrens. First, she has only 48 childrens whose 30% of them had special needs, 86% were below grade level in English and in math and 100% were living below the poverty level.

Without education children may not realize what they are capable, they can not believe they can get by, stand out. You have to prove that they are capable to learn, work and find a rewarding job as other children of wealthy neighborhoods.

For example Nadia Lopez asked a child what he wanted to become later, the company replied "I don't know if I'm gonna live that long", or a young woman say to her that she had a lifelong goal of working in a fast-food restaurant.

In my opinion, that we shouldn't allow children "to close" because of the barriers of a disadvantaged area, so don't sink but help even if it is difficult, we must establish educational programs that fit their needs, find specialized, ambitious and persevering teachers. The aim is to replace its barriers by hope and goal for this childrens.

In September , the third graduate promotions of Mott Hall Bridges Academy had 98% graduation rate. "This is nearly 200 children, who are now going to some of the most competitive high schools in New York City". So nothing it's impossible.

But to mount this project they also need financial resources: it is an investment. In this school teachers use their own money to often provide resources when they don't have it, they worked the weekend and they take time beyond their school day to make efficient educative programme and an important thing (I think): teachers collaborate as a team ! (It's not always the case in our schools..)

So that, I think if we don't help the children of disadvantaged neighborhoods they will never help themselves (or only a minority).

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