South Los Angeles high school students produce Office Max commercial

Office Max authorized us, the Urban Media Foundation news team, and subsequent producers to create a video project addressing the lack of school supplies within our nation’s schools. As a multitude of issues plague our nation’s education system, we believe this video project has the power to facilitate results, and inspire people to reinvest themselves in the future of our nation’s youth. This video project is driven by our thoughts, perceptions, and personal experiences. In addition, these anecdotes are accompanied by several dramatizations that we hope will inspire activism.

imageFrom left: Brandi Finney, Erdavria Rose Simpson, Destany Charles. In the back: Jerriel Biggles.

Even though this project was created by only a few students in Los Angeles, California, we thought it was important to address these issues on a broader scale. A flawed education system does not only affect the students in the system, but it affects the society who counts on these students to become competent citizens. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, dropouts from the class of 2010 will cost the nation more than $337 billion in lost wages over the course of their lifetimes. If U.S. High schools and colleges were to raise the graduation rate of Hispanic, African American, and Native American students to the levels of white students by 2020, the potential increase in personal income would add more than $310 billion to the U.S. economy.

Our goal for this project is to hopefully expedite changes within flawed education systems. We are aware that this will take time; however, any small change is a step in the right direction. During moments of comic relief, we hope viewers will remember to think of the schools in their communities. We hope after hearing our stories viewers will want to lend a helping hand. We hope to shed light on an issue currently sitting in the dark.

We know we are still successful students despite the overwhelming statistics. Even though, we lack certain tools we still prevail. As a whole, we do not make excuses for ourselves because this hinders our learning capabilities. Instead, we appreciate the teachers, parents, and community members who are picking up the slack in order to give us the proper tools to learn.