Julian Saavedra

KIPP Teacher Julian Saavedra

I believe our country is at the dawn of a second civil rights movement. And educators are on the front lines.

Our kids are plugged in. They see what’s going on. They see what’s happening in West Philly and they see the larger issues of police brutality and institutionalized racism.

And it’s not only our obligation to provide guidance, but also to provide a space for our students to share and process what they are seeing and feeling. We have to show our kids that we are in their corner.

And we have to show them how ridiculously important education is.

I’m twelve years in and I’m reinvigorated. Every day, I’ve gotta come to work and be ready to go. Because what we’re doing here—and everyone needs to know this—what we’re doing at this school is so important.

These kids…society sometimes labels these kids as the dregs, the bottom, the ones to be scared of, the ones who can’t do anything. And we are proving time and time and time again that: No. That is not true. That is not true at all.

Our kids go above and beyond. And in most cases, our students have a lot to deal with in their lives and they still reach the highest of goals. So yeah.

In 2016, as somebody Black, as somebody Hispanic, as somebody from the inner city, as somebody who is an educator, as somebody who is a father, this is the time.

We have a story to tell. That’s why I do what I do.

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