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Yabbie on the Road: Cesar Chavez Charter School in Washington, DC

July 27, 2011

Lyndsey Luther represented the State Farm Youth Advisory Board alongside Griffin Hammond to the Cesar Chavez Public Policy Charter High School in Washington, D.C. This is part of an ongoing series with Youth Advisory Board members learning firsthand the impact that State Farm has in communities, helping them "Get to a Better State."

After the interview with Mrs. Powell, we met Melinda Hudson who would be giving us a tour of the promise neighborhood in D.C. The Promise Neighborhood grant winner in D.C., Cesar Chavez Public Policy Charter High School, was a recipient of this grant in order to improve the stability of their neighborhood and to strengthen the involvement of family in the academics of their students. Melinda (Mrs. Hudson) gave us the tour by driving us around in her car so we could view the neighborhood, the progress that has been made, and the struggles that this neighborhood still faces. There were run-down schools, apartment complexes, and local businesses here which showed that many people here live in poverty. Although the struggles of this neighborhood were much more apparent than the progress, we still got to see the rebuilding of certain parts in this community.

When we went to visit Cesar Chavez Public Policy Charter High School, it gave me hope that this Promise Neighborhood would one day be a place where people wanted to live. During my visit at this school and getting to meet the teachers, faculty, and staff, I could tell that they were all passionate about their student’s education and had a desire for each and every student to graduate high school and lead a better life. They had photos on the wall of their current graduating class, along with a list of what colleges every student had been accepted to. Their guarantee is that every student who graduates from Cesar Chavez Public Policy Charter High School will be accepted into at least one college, if not more. Griffin and I interviewed three students entering their senior year as well as a teacher to learn how they have been impacted by their school, America’s Promise, and the Promise Neighborhood. Learning of the teacher’s passion for the well-being of her students and how these students felt about what they had learned at their school and the plans they have for their future was breathtaking. It showed that if Americas Promise can influence this school in such a positive way, it can only get better for other schools that are influenced in the future.

I think what America’s Promise does to help the future of our students is astounding and the fact that they can get partners like State Farm to help with their initiative shows that people really do care about the future of our youth. From all of the locations I have been too, including Los Angeles and Phoenix, I have learned a great amount about the problems in our societies that I would have never realized otherwise. I’m truly blessed to have met so many inspiring people, and to learn the passion that people have to simply help others.

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