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Overcoming Barriers

Over the course of my life, there have been many social factors that have contributed to my development as a person and overall perception of success. The most prominent of these factors being my family structure, education, and religion. Each of these social constructs have greatly impacted my life, as I have tirelessly worked to overcome the social barriers that are intended to derail individuals that share similar backgrounds to my own.

My education has been an essential aspect of my life as my parents have made many financial sacrifices to pay for me to attend a private institution that is predicated on preparing students for college and beyond. My parents frequently expressed to me the importance of education as they saw it as an essential investment in my future.

By attending The Latin School of Chicago, I was given the opportunity to explore my many interests in an academically stimulating environment filled with advanced resources and supportive instructors. Furthermore, this experience has opened many doors for me as I have obtained many skills and established many significant relationships that have greatly impacted my life.

Although this experience has been largely beneficial, I have also witnessed the racial and economic disparities that are embedded within the education system. For a majority of my life, I have been surrounded by wealthy students whose upbringing drastically differ from my own. I was one of the few minority students in my school and was quickly labeled a token person of color.

In Chicago, the education system is built on segregation of the classes as most students of color are unable to afford the expensive tuition that is required to attend these elitist institutions. Minority students make up the majority of the the city’s public school system. While the city offers a handful of selective enrollment institutions such as Whitney Young Magnet High School and Walter Payton College Prep, a majority of Chicago public Schools are not receiving the same resources as their private counterparts. Furthermore, many students of color are unable to obtain the same level of education because of the enormous economic wage gap that disproportionately effects minority youth.

These racial and economic inequalities are prevalent within society, as minorities look to overcome these social barriers. Many individuals struggle to acknowledge the catastrophic impact that these inequalities have because they tend to incite conflict among individuals with differing views. Rather than pretending these issues don’t exist, the city should work together to resolve this pressing social issue and improve the quality of education for everyone.

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