Kicked to the Curb

Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.


“I’ve got a pass for Griffin Young. Principal’s office ASAP.”

I packed my stuff amid playful “oooh”’s and headed to the office, unsure of what to expect. I took a seat across from the principal. “Griffin, you changed addresses this year, right?” I nodded, “Unfortunately, your new home is zoned to Mission Bay High School. You won’t be able to attend La Jolla High this year.”

It was my junior year, arguably the most important in your high school career. I was being kicked to the curb. And not just any curb. My new school was known for its gang and drug activity -- and poorer test scores. Our family had moved to San Diego in search of quality schools like La Jolla’s, but we didn’t live in “The Village.” We lived two miles south. A zoning anomaly enabled my siblings and I to attend affluent schools to the north while neighbors were stuck at Pacific Beach’s seedier schools. When my sister went to college, we moved to a smaller house farther south, causing this zoning crisis.

I sat in silence, considering what La Jolla schools offered: access to AP classes, a safer and more focused learning environment, greater diversity and quality of extracurricular activities, and a more academically oriented group of peers. Though I often felt a...

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