Ashley M. California

I am a Scholar

The education system must change in order to intellectually, culturally, and emotionally enrich today's students.

Dear Future President, 

My name is Ashley. I am a 15 year old Filipino girl, who is an artist, a performer, a geek, a joker, a makeshift video editor, a perfectionist, and a beginner guitarist with poor fashion sense.  But more than anything, I am a scholar. I read, write, discuss, experiment, study, and learn. Without school, I wouldn't be who I tell you I identify as being right now. And that's why I want to improve the education system for everyone.

All schools should have updated technology for every student to use. More wealthy schools provide devices (such as laptops and tablets) to their students, who can take them home and use it for school work, while other schools only have a limited amount of outdated computers or no tablets or no devices at all. Hundreds of students are left in the dust as the world around them advances: technology is slowly being instituted in the curriculum and will soon be a fundamental tool for success. Because some kids don't have the finances to buy their own devices or attend a school that can provide them, opportunities are ripped out of their hands, taken away by those who have more and who have less to lose.  Schools need new technology to supplement their curriculum in order to offer their students a window to pursue higher-level education and succeed.

All schools should implement and maintain a safer, more suitable environment in which a student can work in.  As you know, bullying is a major problem affecting children and teenagers, inhibiting their learning and stigmatizing the school experience.  Bullying already is an issue being managed by many schools that advocate and promote the end to bullying, but schools have to go deeper by instituting a moral responsibility into their students who, as a member of the community, should know not to bully, how to avoid being bullied, and how to handle the bully phenomenon. Some schools don't care, avoiding involvement in conflicts between students, and expelling or suspending them with complete disregard to why the conflict came to be or if the behavior is part of a larger problem. Some schools even have staff and teachers who abuse or discriminate against certain students--these schools must change by replacing such staff members. All schools should also have a credible, professional therapist, one that is capable of more than just listening. Many students suffer from mental illnesses like depression and stress that likely account for the illnesses. There must be someone there to take care of these kids; who is insightful, intelligent, empathetic, and kind; who kids can depend on when they can't depend on their friends, family, or teachers.  

All schools need to put more emphasis on interests outside of the required subjects like Math, Science, English, and History.  Art, for example, is highly disregarded as an important part of education. It is the opposite case, however.  Art is an outlet for imagination and creativity, demanding more expression than the regular classes. As humans, it is important to express ourselves and not just our ability to calculate or memorize. We are naturally artistic, inclined to produce different forms of art, like paintings, drawings, music, or films.  When schools don't focus on this, it takes away (as opposed to giving or changing) a student's person. Instead of renaissance men and women, schools foster robots and unmotivated, dull people.  Art should be anything but overlooked; there is no reason not to encourage it among all students if we care about developing the human condition.

All schools need to have updated technology, a safer environment, and a stronger emphasis on Art as an immeasurably valuable disciplinary study. As our new President, I believe you should improve our schools by investing more money into it. By investing in education, you invest in the population, who acquires something worth more than money - knowledge. Better education means better opportunities and a better society and, ultimately, a better country. I hope you agree.


Ashley Manalad

John Henry Francis Polytechnic High School

Honors English 10 B / Period 3

Sophomore English class in the magnet program of John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley, California.

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