As a kid, I was surrounded by people who were making awful choices—choices that led to many of my friends and family members being in prison or six feet under before I reached adulthood. And I was well on my way to following in their footsteps.
Our environment, including the zoned public schools we were forced to attend, played a role in the destructive path many followed. But I was one of the lucky ones. School choice not only made it possible for me to attend a better school, but it also gave me a lifeline to a better future. That’s a lifeline millions of children are still waiting for today.
To me, this is pretty cut and dry: I had a chance to go to another school because the one I attended wasn’t meeting my needs. Even as a fifth grader, I knew this was a chance for something better. What I didn’t know was how hard so many people fought so that I, and millions of children like me, could have that chance.