Mexicans Don’t Care About Education (2016) (Originally apart of Chicanozaje Capstone Project)
As a senior in high school, I had the ambition of attending a four-year university. The thought of becoming a professional and obtaining a degree, made me feel like I could branch out of the stereotypes that society labeled me as and become an actual person. I remember my older sister, Jasmine, took me to a college fair back home. She was attending Santa Barbara City College at the time but had her heart already set on CSU Channel Islands. The college fair was for me to shut up about Chapman University and really get my questions answered regarding that school. I know what a silly school for a low-income brown skin girl like me. I didn’t think about it at first; a particular someone drew me towards that mentality.
Earl Warren Showgrounds, the showgrounds dedicated to judging/ former Californian governor who ended segregation in the educational system in California- okay maybe not all Republicans are bad- was where the college fair took place. I can recall walking into the building and seeing many diverse faces as well as many college representatives, some lonely, desperately waiting for eager students to come up to them. Others were busy with crowds of students. I walked up with my sister trying to scout for schools I was interested in. Cal Poly Pomona, Monterey Bay, UC Santa Cruz…
“-Wait Kiki it’s the Channel Islands Rep, I need to talk to him real quick,” my sister said interrupting my thought. We headed towards the CSU Channel Islands table.
“Hi, my name is Jasmine, I spoke to you earlier today…”
I scanned around for the Chapman table and found it almost instantly. There was an old white man standing behind the table. He began walking back and forth impatiently; I assumed that he was frustrated that no one seemed interested in his school. Maybe it was the tuition..? After my sister was talking to the Channel Islands Rep, I basically bolted towards the Chapman table. The old man or Chapman representative was sort of startled.
“Hi!” I said eagerly. He said nothing, he stared at me up and down and I followed his eyes skeptically down to my dirty converse.
“Hello,” he finally responded, lifting an eyebrow.
“I was wondering if I could learn more about your school,” I have to admit when I feel uncomfortable I tend to sound stupid. It’s not a good quality to have when you’re brown or a woman. He looked past me and said, “I’m sure the website can help you.” I threw him a perplexed look.
“Um, how’s the English program at Chapman?” I asked awkwardly.
“Like I said the website explains everything.” He said almost trying to shoo me away. I wrote my name down on the email list and left the table knowing I didn’t belong at Chapman. In fact, I didn’t even try to apply thereafter that sad encounter.
I ended high school with a 4.3 GPA, only to attend community college. I didn’t want to apply to a four-year university, but I did. The only reason I applied was that it was a requirement for my AVID class. San Francisco State, CSU Channel Islands, and CSU Long Beach were constantly emailing me to send in my transcripts and other essentials, but I ignored them. I had no confidence to attend a university right away; I didn’t think I could do it. I kept thinking about the Chapman Rep and thought he probably thought that school was too prestigious for me; He probably thought American society was too prestigious for me.
Chicano Educational Pipeline
Chicanos are set up to fail in education and are “pushed out” of schools.