Passing the Torch to a New Writer

by Deidre Green, age 18

I began writing the Gap According to Green during my junior year at LaFollette High School. Throughout my time writing this column, I have discussed a variety of issues concerning the minority achievement gap. I’ve given practical tips on how to succeed in school, shared ways to help bridge the gap, and written about personal experiences.

I am now bridging the gap in my own way by following my dream of pursuing higher education. I am beginning my first year of college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since I am a first generation college student, statistics indicate there will be much higher chance of my descendants also going to college.

While writing this column, I have researched and experienced first hand achievement gap issue here in Dane County. I have done my best to inform others about the gap and how to help close it. But in spite of all of my efforts for change, there is still more work to be done.

Though I am moving on, I believe this column is an important part of a conversation that needs to continue. So I am going to pass it on to another worthy reporter—Adaeze Okoli. I think Adaeze’s views will be fresh, new, and just what we need to work toward a future without an achievement gap, a future in which we all can succeed.

Adaeze will be a sophomore at Middleton High School this year. She has been a writer at the Simpson Street Free Press for the past three years. Last year, as a freshman, Adaeze penned our popular Fresh Face column. She shared her ideas and insights about being a freshman in high school. Her ability to think critically and voice her opinion will greatly benefit her when writing the Bridging the Achievement Gap column.

Writing “The Gap According to Green” has been an important and rewarding experience for me. I was given the chance to make my voice heard and to express my opinion on topics that continue to be a very important. The goal of this column when it was started was to raise awareness about the gap, and launch efforts to help bridge it.

We may have a long way to go, but I know that we’ve already gotten people talking—which is a start. One person alone won’t be able to close the gap. But collaboration and continued dialogue will help the process.

I’ve put a lot of hard work into continuing the legacy of Cydny Black, who first passed this column on to me. I am confident that Adaeze will do her best to continue the legacy of both of her predecessors. I look forward to reading her columns and seeing what new ideas she brings to our readers. Hopefully our future includes closing the minority achievement gap.