I can do it, should I?

Katie E,
Boston, MA

A friend of mine from another state graduated her class’ valedictorian. She received a full-ride scholarship to college and ultimately, she became a teacher. When I learned about her academic achievements, I congratulated her and she thanked me and she appeared to downplay her accomplishment. She then told me that she was one of the only white students in her school, and the three white students of her grade were the top 3 GPAs. She told me she was first because her teachers always believed she was successful. They never questioned her and she did her assignments. As she advanced through the grades, she noticed that she was never held back or questioned, and always encouraged and complimented. In her valedictorian speech, she addressed these observations and how she was not deserving of this ranking. Her white privilege was the reason why she achieved her achievements. Therefore, she does not celebrate these achievements.


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