Fresh from their wildly successful presentations at the AERA Annual Convention in New Orleans, our members reflect on what the experience meant to them.
The trip to New Orleans was an experience that changes a person. We compiled information to present on the inequalities in education and we presented on our findings. It was fairly different to go out of state to talk to adults and tell them how we students want to be taught. I never thought I could be such a revolutionary, but an experience like AERA tells me that I have a future in this field. It tells me that I am not someone that will sit around and take oppression; I am some one who will be an advocate for change. After listening to educators and administrators applaud us on our work, I realized that I can make a change. The struggle goes on every day and we wanted adults to know that, so we worked collectively to get to our solution. The solution was humanization – adults understanding that we are human and we deserve a quality education – and to teach as if the were teaching themselves.
New Orleans was an amazing experience that I will never forget. The food was delicious and I was able to try alligator (which at first I was skeptical about but after trying it I wanted more.) Not only was the food great – so were the people because they were very friendly and outgoing. But most importantly, AERA was amazing experience that gave students from South Central their voice to demand a better education. This opportunity was not given to every student, which I believe should be, but I am grateful I was able to experience it.
I felt accomplished after the presentations that we did in New Orleans. I feel like everyone did a very good job and it’s something we should all be proud of. I liked the trip to New Orleans because it was very interesting and informative. Everything that happened had a story behind it. I felt that I did my best to get the message across to the people I met. I also liked the Friday presentation, although I didn’t present, because the people that presented were very powerful in the way they talked and presented their research.
The trip to AERA was amazing, from the presentations of change to the deep-rooted culture. The five-day trip didn’t even feel like work at all. Our presentations went very well and I was very proud of my group. We practiced really hard to get our points across and it showed. My favorite part of all the presentations was the senior send-off. It was something that I had not seen before and I felt like it was powerful. Personally, I am very proud of one of my group members for getting her voice out there, which is something she struggles with in school. I was able to get even closer to all of my group members in New Orleans. I wish them all luck in school and in research.
I received new experiences going to New Orleans. For example, this was my first time leaving Los Angeles in a plane. And though the plane ride was great, being there was even better. I had the chance to see live jazz in a festival that was fun. Also had the chance to see the Mississippi River; that was a really great sight. I also got to visit a museum in the Lower Ninth Ward that was amazing. Also, I got taste the New Orleans best dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, and their po’boy sandwiches.
Exploring these new experiences was great. On the other hand, I knew I had to present my research at AERA, so it was not always fun and games. Yet, I still had a great time presenting my research about my group’s teacher workshop. And I felt great when teachers would come up to my group and ask us how we would like to be taught. So going to New Orleans was overall a great learning experience.
Taking this trip to New Orleans has been one of the most memorable and life changing experiences in my life. Knowing that this trip would not only allow us, the Council, to meet other student advocates for education, but once again, give us the opportunity to present to AERA, inspired me to give the best of me during these presentations. The sole idea of acknowledging the fact that the educational system in this country is at its worst and still declining, gave me the courage to demand to all of our audience members that it is time to start doing their job and not just clap after our presentations but work towards eliminating this educational crisis. I feel that the presentations we gave in this trip have been the most educational and impacting we have ever presented. It is impossible to forget the astonished looks in the researchers’ faces and their compliments after our presentations. Though, the most unforgettable memory of this trip will always be that I not only caused great impact at AERA, but that I gave the best of me and caused these researchers to stand up and go back to their occupations to better education. Taking a swamp tour and holding a baby alligator was also an amazing experience. It never occurred to me that I would have the opportunity to visit the lower Ninth Ward community. I was surprised to see that this part of the city was still devastated almost six years after the natural disaster. However, eating gumbo and jambalaya for the first time was the most delicious experience throughout this trip!
At the airport terminal, waiting with some of my fellow researchers, we are surprised when we saw an unfamiliar woman walking towards us. She looks eager, ready to say something. “You were amazing!” she says, “I have to say out of all the presentations I went to, yours moved me the most!” Amazed, but not shocked, we thank her. Our work is remarkable, we are remarkable, and our presentations in New Orleans further proved that. We were able to voice how we feel and we were listened to. However, we shouldn’t be the only ones doing this. More students should have the chance to research, present, and have the opportunity to be listened to like we did. New Orleans was amazing! I am very proud of all the work we have done. The experience made me eager for more research and more presentations.
As a first time attendee, going to AERA was an exciting prospect. AERA exceeded my expectations only because of the Council’s presentations. The presentation as a whole was awesome. Everyone and everything came together beautifully and the students were so eloquent in demonstrating the power of their research. I was so proud of my work with them, but more than anything, I was inspired as an instructor and definitely felt a renewed sense for the purpose of my work as an educator. I was also touched by all the love the council has for one another, the instructors, Ernest, etc. It really does feel like being part of a family!
I wish that more people had gotten to see the presentation. This leads me to the next steps for the council…getting the message out! I really feel like more people need to see the council present because there is nothing more powerful than hearing them in person. I think they need to come to local schools and present and interact with students about their research. I for one am working on getting them to present more at my school and connecting them with other schools in the area.
Going to AERA in New Orleans was a great experience. My goal was to leave an impact and show people that we, as students that live in urban communities, care about our education. I believe that we accomplished that. Our presentation was very powerful and we showed people that we demand change. This experience shaped me even more as a student because I used my youth voice to leave an impact, but also keep working because it does not stop here! I continue to share my knowledge with those who do not know and I will keep using my voice to inform them.
The trip to New Orleans was a very nice experience because we got to see the city recovering from the disaster a few years ago, and we were able to present to all the professors and people of New Orleans. I was able to see a new city and compare it to Los Angeles. I saw that there are many similarities between the cities. For example, in both cities the majority of the people of color lived in the lower income communities and worked behind the scenes like cooking or doing the hard labor. Also being able to spend time with the UCLA IDEA family made it that much better and we were able to come together as the family.
This highly anticipated trip to New Orleans was worth the 5-hour plane ride and humid, hot weather. The trip was fun; it brought me comfort that I traveled with a family that carries the same mission. During our trip to New Orleans, we all gained a great opportunity to learn much regarding social inequalities existing in Louisiana that are similar to those existing in Los Angeles. Though we often view Los Angeles with a positive lens, our purpose in New Orleans was to give national educators a piece of reality, evidently our reality. The reality we face on a day-to-day basis fully, conscious of the inequalities in our communities that professors and grad students only study about.
Looking back and remembering the faces in the audience expressing their amazement, I am comfortable with saying we completely convinced them that students are fully capable of college research and community reform with basic tools such as our mind, our voice, and a little bit of heart.
All in all, the trip to New Orleans was a remarkable experience. It gave me more of a push to transform my community and help resolve the inequalities in the distribution of educational resources. Forever.
My experience in New Orleans was incredible. There were so many great things that I gained. I gained a voice. I was able to speak on the behalf of many students about changes that we would like to see in the education system. Presenting at the AERA conference was amazing!! It really pumped me up. I hope that the audience really soaked up everything that we, the Council of Youth Research, had to say. I hope that they really thought about everything and decided to take action. It was also nice to see other youth groups present, it gave me a sense of strength that youth can come together and truly make an impact.
Another great aspect of the trip to New Orleans was gaining a new family!!! I was able to meet and befriend new people, people that I will hold dear forever. I will never forget my New Orleans experience. I hope to continue with this research and create a larger impact. We started this revolution, now we must all fight on!!!
Our trip to New Orleans has impacted me. I say this because without an experience like it, I believe the Council wouldn’t have been as connected as they currently are. But not only did I notice that people worked and became closer to each other; I became aware of this world-wide struggle that we are all facing. I noticed many types of division between people of color, which reminded me of my own community. Other than the things I realized and thought about the state, I believe out presentations were better than expected. But after every presentation I leave with the question: What will those who heard us attempt to do in order to fix this messed up state of education?
The Council trip to New Orleans was filled with many firsts for me. It was the first time I worked with youth from other high schools, and it was my first time traveling by plane to another state to teach our research to many other traditional leaders . New Orleans was a great experience because I went in with the mentality that I’d just present and come back to LA, but it was way more than that. During the research process I began to bind with students in the other Locke schools who I now can call my friends (the barriers that Green Dot has set are less now than before) because I stepped out of my comfort zone with Locke 3! That was amazing! Then I bonded with Crenshaw students, the WYC family, Roosevelt, Wilson, and Manual Arts. It was no longer only research work; it was a familial experience while we taught traditional leaders! I would do it many more times!!!
New Orleans is a great place to be because the places I walked through and most people I saw and talked to were amazing and kind! I loved it because they all keep moving forward with their lives even after the tragedy that Hurricane Katrina caused!
I could feel the LOOOOVVVE
WOW! New Orleans was extraordinarily awesome. It will always be an everlasting life lesson. I experienced a new culture, food, people, and lifestyles. I am very grateful for this experience because I was able to notice the struggles of others and take from them to grow as a person. The importance of making a change for the people was made even more imperative due to the lack of support after the hurricane. The presentations were great and powerful because it showed the hard work everyone put into them. Personally I can now say that I am finally becoming more critical about the things that are going around me and my community. But the struggle doesn’t end in NOLA; we have to continue fighting for the people.
N’Awlins was great – I mean fabulous! I experienced a different life style, saw the segregation, wondered how it would’ve been in the 1960′s. I ate great food, and most of all saw the excitement in the city. Even though there is a lot to be done because everything hasn’t been fixed, they were still, as Crenshaw would say, “turnt up.” It was a great experience, but a troubling one, because I had to critique everything and see it through different lenses. I am grateful that I was able to go, but I wish my friends Karina Arenas, Elmer Mufasa Garcia, Joshua DeLeon & Maceo Bradley would’ve went. The presentation was awesome and powerful – every presentation had me very engaged. I’m just magnificently grateful.
New Orleans was amazing – it has awesome weather! The presentations were really good. I felt that we worked hard, and it showed when we presented. The other groups did really good, too. I just had really good experiences and I’m getting less and less scared when it’s my turn to speak. Yay! It was also good to be around other youth who are researching and trying to make changes. These were experiences I’ll never forget.
NOLA was a great experience. Just being in a place where such a tragedy like Karina happened and seeing the people be so warm was just amazing. For the presentations, I feel that every group came out and did what it is that Gramsci says we were supposed to do, and that’s to provide the info needed in order to challenge and redefine the traditional intellectuals. I felt that the Locke group came out strong on Saturday and I feel that I contributed to that, but I feel that I could have done better on the Monday presentation. But over all it was an experience that I’ll never forget.