Overcoming Perception

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Overcoming Perception
Through the words of Johnetta Cole “if you really know yourself, if you believe in who you are, it’s amazing how much criticism you can withstand”. Everyone in his or her lifetime has experienced criticism that has impacted their life in such a manner that has shaped their lives, for students in high school and college it’s an everyday occurrence. Student’s experiences in education should not be influenced based on where they come from financially, how they are perceived academically, and if they choose to pursue a higher education. My experiences were oppressed by the limitations imposed by where I stood economically, and how it influenced how I was perceived socially. In bell hooks article “Learning in the Shadow of Race and Class’ bell states “poor folks like myself, with no background to speak of, were invisible. We were not seen by them or anyone else” (6). Hooks was judged based on her family’s status. She was never given the real chance to show who she was as a person due to a superficial concept that money is critical. Throughout high school fellow classmates viewed me as a “rich” kid due to the fact that my parents were financially stable, judged on the clothes I wore, the items I owned, I was given a certain image that I never escaped. Society has made money such an essential ideal, that it now is being used as a method of approval or disapproval. Johnetta Cole states in her interview that we need to value the person’s real character not base them on superficial things but the content of their heart as an individual. I learned to overcome the challenges of being perceived a certain way based on money, and made sure that my views of an individual were not based on capital. Academically I faced the challenge of never being seen as anything other than a label that was imposed on me based off the advanced placement classes I took. In my experienced throughout high school I was never seen as anything other than “one of those AP...
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