Yes, we all want to put 2020 in our rearview mirrors. But where do we go from here?
In times of crisis, we’re supposed to turn to our leaders for guidance, for hope. But with consensus and compromise in short supply these days, who should we be listening to?
For Ernest and Brenae, ASAP Debate partners at Academy of Palumbo High School in South Philly, it seems promises about the future should seek a little insight from those for whom the promises are intended.
Suffice to say, Brenae, Ernest and their peers have a lot on their minds these days, navigating a world mourning great loss and preparing for further social strife.
This makes the work of ASAP and your support more important than ever to create healthy outlets for young people and to foster a sense of community even when we are apart.
For Brenae and Ernest, ASAP Debate is an opportunity to be more than a spectator in the moments and decisions that will define their generation.
Fortunately, years spent crafting pro and con arguments on complex issues like Medicare for All and cybersecurity has also given them tools to challenge the status quo.
“When you do your research, you’re able to have conversations. Debate has allowed me to become more informed about the things I’m facing.” – Brenae
And unlike how it plays out on cable news, ASAP Debate is about more than proving a point.
“I’m more open minded, because in debate you have to be able to argue both sides.” – Ernest
As ASAP begins a new school year, Ernest and Brenae’s words remind us of the acute toll the recent crises have taken on the young people of our city – the feelings of fear, uncertainty, anxiety, isolation, economic hardship, and exhaustion that impact their daily lives and threaten their well-being.
But their words also give us great hope that by providing young people opportunities to grow, to be seen, and to be heard, that we might actually figure out where to go from here.
By adapting our programs to virtual formats and launching new efforts to safely engage students, ASAP is committed to helping kids throughout Philadelphia forge their paths through these uncommonly difficult times.
No doubt, this year students’ day-to-day life will be unlike any in history. But together we can do our part to make 2020 just a minor detour on their road to health, happiness, and success.
In this important work, we are most grateful for your support.
P.S. Your support makes a difference! 96% of principals agree ASAP provides their students with opportunities they couldn’t otherwise offer. Help us give Philly students the opportunities they deserve!