Niagara Gazette

Columns

February 14, 2013

HAMILTON: A reason to succeed, despite the circumstances

Niagara Gazette — Two American high school students have done something extraordinary. One of them have just scored a perfect Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score and the other has just won $75,000 on Alex Trebek’s Teen Jeopardy show. The two students have a lot in common with many other students across America, in that their successes are rooted in their ambitions, their parental support and in a school system that has dedicated itself to their success. But there are a couple of other things that make these two students, by birth, stand out: both of them are African-American males who did not use the color of their skins as an excuse to fail. In fact, they used it as a reason to succeed.

Though they are African-Americans, they are much, much more: they are Americans — period. And while Cameron Clarke, who attends the prestigious Germantown Academy of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was one of only 360 of the roughly 15-million high school students in America to attain a perfect score, it is possible for any of our local Niagara Falls High School students of any color to do likewise, if they had the support he had. If Clarke’s parents had to pay for his 13-year education in one payment of today’s dollars, then their bill would be a seemingly whopping $320,000. You may say that, “Well, I can see how he made it. I could never pay that much for my child.”

Leonard Cooper, of the Little Rock, Arkansas’s eSTEM Public Charter School comes from a school district that spends an average of about $155,000 per student for those same 13-years; years that produced a Jeopardy-winner. While it is $165,000 less than Clarke’s Germantown Academy, it is also $82,000 less than what we spend per student in Niagara Falls. In fact, the average $237,000 that we spend per student for a 13-year education here is within $500 of the average cost of both of these boys’ education.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page