To the editor:
This year, graduation ceremonies at T.C. Williams held special significance for Tenants and Workers United as youth leader Ingris Moran took to the stage to receive her diploma.
A first-generation American, Ingris is the first person in her family to graduate high school and head to college. In her own words her success represents the fulfillment of her familys American Dream. For those of us who work closely with families like hers to build a collective struggle for social and economic justice, her achievement represents our highest hopes for our community and the future prosperity of America.
Three years ago when Ingris started coming to TWUs youth meetings she was a shy, quiet girl. Today, Ingris is a strong, thoughtful and outspoken young woman who has risen above all obstacles to make her dreams a reality. At the same time, she has worked to pave the way for others to do the same.
Throughout her years with TWU, Ingris led the charge to investigate the Alexandria City Public Schools achievement gap, develop a plan for individualized attention and college prep for all students that will help solve the problem, and has fought to have it implemented. She has spoken to School Board representatives, shouted in front of City Hall and been instrumental in forging a relationship of collaboration with Superintendant Morton Sherman to institute needed changes in ACPS. As she walked across the stage last Thursday, it was apparent that she has become an agent of change that our community needs.
Every day, kids like Ingris, their families and neighbors come to our offices looking for answers to seemingly insurmountable problems stemming from poverty and race. At TWU and community organizations across the nation, our task is to bring people together to identify the opportunities that exist despite the depth of these challenges. By developing young leaders like Ingris, we arm our community with the knowledge and skill to collectively identify and work for effective, long-term solutions. In this way, we are forging the dream of America into a reality for us all every day.
From all of us at TWU, we salute the graduating Class of 2009 and eagerly await the opportunity to work with you to make our world a better place.
Lucero Beebe-Giudice,Tenants and Workers United,Alexandria