All of the lawyers and staff members at Bey & Associates, LLC are dedicated to helping our local and nationwide communities build strong foundations that can enable us to take part in a brighter future. We decided to start a scholarship in 2017 that would give us the ability to help college students forge that strong foundation. The scholarship’s last submission period, Spring 2018, just came to a close. We were truly humbled by the amount of applications we received as well as the exceptional high quality of every essay. All of the essays were outstanding. Choosing just one winner was difficult!
We’re pleased to announce we’ve chosen a winner.
Congratulations to Devin Tucker of Los Angeles, California!
Devin will be attending Pepperdine School of Law.
This submission period’s essay topic was on what single positive change applicants would make in their communities if they had a chance to do so.
Here’s her winning essay:
When you think of South Central, Los Angeles; what comes to mind? Is it the famous notorious movies, “Friday,” or “Boyz in the Hood?” The soul food restaurants on Crenshaw Boulevard? The “hood” of LA? For me, its home. It’s the neighborhood I grew up in, with my grandparents around the corner, and all my close relatives just a few houses down. It is what my family knows. The biggest change I would make in the community that I live in is the access to higher education and academic resources.
As an adult, I now understand why my parents sacrificed everything to send me to private school and to do all they could to acclimate me with life away from my neighborhood. Unfortunately, where I come from, the public schools are awful. Not only are the schools not good, the resources for students who want to advance and further their education are very slim. While there are many students in my neighborhood who have the academic background and ability to compete, they are not afforded the same resources or opportunities. Simply, due to lack of funding, lack of focus, and lack of commitment, the South Central community is struggling to raise educated young adults who can compete in the world.
While students in my neighborhood are of course attending school, they are barley passing their classes and rarely engaged. If they are attending school it is for the purpose of socialization rather than the advancement of their future.
It is not the students’ fault. The lack of funding plays a large factor as to why there is no motivation to help students matriculate into college. The public schools in my neighborhood are very tight on educational funds from the government and because of this cannot pay their staff enough to truly be motivated to put forth extra effort to help students excel.
In addition, teachers do not have proper funding to attend conferences/events regarding helping students advance in higher education. Instead, teachers and faculty are being extremely underpaid and disadvantaged in budgets and resources. While some teachers may want to go the extra mile and invest in their students, they do not have the resources to do it. It is very said that in other neighborhoods and jurisdictions, the government gives more aid and assistance in educational needs.
Yet, in South Central, it seems like we receive the lowest amount of educational assistance. Why is this?
In addition to there being a lack of funding, there is also a lack of focus. In my neighborhood, there is not the same promotion for programs helping students matriculate to colleges. Due to the fact that I went to Marymount High School, in Bel-Air, California; I did not have this same experience. At my high school, up to 3 different colleges would come each day to talk to students about their university and to help them with their application.
This process is very limiting at a school like Dorsey or Crenshaw High. In fact, while I had 3 college counselors that helped me with every step of my applications for college, schools like Dorsey and Crenshaw lack even having college counselors for students. Instead, students are forced to figure out the application process on their own. It is no wonder why things are the way they are when there is no focus or push to bring this same access to South Central residents. Due to the fact that most of the families in my neighborhood are considered low-income or in the lower class, they are looked over upon when it comes to education.
I believe due to the struggles and financial burdens that are faced by many families in my neighborhood, education should be even more important and emphasized. Students in my community should see higher education as a way out from poverty and despair. While I am sure many students do, they just simply do not have the same access as students living in other neighborhoods. I believe that educational resources and opportunities should be equal and the same for all minors. It is not a student’s choice where they reside and because of this, they should not be negatively effected in terms of trying to achieve higher education.
I believe if this issue was fixed and addressed, it would also help to minimize other issues that happen in South Central, LA such as crime, poverty, and high school drop-outs. By 2019 I would like to see this change. In fact I am proposing a new initiative to the Board of Education that will require all public schools to help each student with matriculation to college in addition to focusing on self-image, self-love and self-worth.
Due to the fact that many students in my neighborhood are faced with generational curses or habits, most students will feel content with doing things the same way as their parents. While this is not a negative trait by nature, in this case, it would benefit students to motivate themselves to advance higher than the generation before them. In doing so however, students will of course need the support and guidance of counselors- hence the overall goal of my initiative. I want to provide a government-mandated program that addresses the overall personal and social growth of every student. I have a few ideas of how to obtain this in a cost effective and precise way. My hope is to establish this in all communities and to overall improve the advancement of humanity.
For more information on the next scholarship period which will be for Fall 2018, please see our law firm’s scholarship page for updates within the next week. Congratulations again, Devin! May all your dreams come true.