By Halimah Hussein
Northwest Asian Weekly
Diversity is a beautiful thing; it adds a pop of color to a community, like an abstract painting. I remember when I was a student at Franklin High School, where the diversity was so rich. Being in South Seattle, Franklin had a lot to be proud of, as it attracted students from areas such as the 98118 zip code. It’s probably the one thing I miss about my time there, because the school that I currently attend lacks that diversity. Identifying as African American is not a rare thing at Nova, my current school – but wearing a head scarf is and I’m the only one who does. Though Nova may not be as racially diverse as Franklin, I appreciate the other kinds of diversity we are home to, in terms of sexuality, home life, and gender expression. Having experienced both environments, I want all of these diversities to be brought together, to encourage people to educate themselves about social dynamics they might not otherwise consider.
This fall, I will be a first-year college student, and one thing I’ve noticed is that many colleges are not very diverse, especially the “really good ones” that everyone raves about. Maybe this is because of the stereotypes that students of color (mainly African Americans) don’t have what it takes to make it to college; maybe it’s because, in our society, there is still an open door for racism in our education system. Despite this, I am one of the many students of color who is determined to excel in college! Diversity is especially important for college campuses, because it shows that students of all colors can achieve their goals. When we see our people doing great things, it inspires us to do great things. I want to see the kids we’re stereotyping on the streets go on to prove society wrong.
I want to go to college to achieve my goals, so I can make a difference and make a life for myself. I see what has happened in our community involving race and prejudice, and I’m going to make change by stepping my foot in the right direction first: getting a higher education. I want to see school systems help students of all colors succeed – this world is honestly a competition, and only those with an education can move forward.
Halimah Hussein is a Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation “Diversity Makes a Difference” scholarship nominee. (end)
Halimah Hussein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.