An offshoot of Ed Trust’s Echoes From the Gap series, drawing stories of students from behind the statistics, this blog series shares shorter narratives — brief glimpses into classrooms and hallways — that give readers an opportunity to examine educator practices and policies through the intimate lens of student experience. All stories are based on interviews or first-hand accounts but are shared with respect for the privacy of students and the adults around them.
“While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.” — Maya Angelou
They were pre-determined by statistics the least likely to be standing there on graduation day. Young. Black. Male. Low-income. This they knew. All too familiar with the constant weight of the odds stacked against them. There was a moment that each of them slid into those statistics in seemingly inevitable freefall. Each feared it was their end. But instead they found New Beginnings. Tucked away, behind the guard booth and layers of fencing of a juvenile detention center in Maryland is the Maya Angelou Academy at New Beginnings. They arrived with more than their share of struggle and less than their share of support. They expected more of the same. But at New Beginnings, they — and their worlds — were transformed.