It’s a steaming hot afternoon in mid-June. At a drinking fountain near the dried-out basin of McCarren Pool in Greenpoint, a dozen kids fight over a narrow jet of water.
Asked what aspect of their lives they most wanted to explore as new journalists, our students—a mix of urban youth between the ages of 13 to 19 who attend schools that range from large and under-funded to small and specialized, from alternative to Catholic, or to schooling at home—spoke up clearly. What matters most to them is the state of their own education and the role that school plays in this regard.
Midway through the rap artist Cassidy’s “I’m a Hustla” video, Nicholas “Fat Nick” Minucci appears for a moment in a street scene, outfitted in a black sweatshirt with a silver crucifix around his neck, looking every bit the part of a gangsta rap groupie.
More than a few onlookers have characterized this political seasons most exciting local contest as a battle over race.
Lolo wakes up at 5:30 in the morning while the sky is still dark. He jets out of his apartment in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx by 6:30 and hops the 6 train southbound to 125th to catch the 4 train northbound to Mosholu Parkway, getting to his high school in the Bronx by about 7:45. If he gets there any later, the lines outside his school prevent him from landing in his first period class by 8:15. If hes late, even by a minute, he sits in the lunchroom for the entirety of first period. Three days out of five, Lolo is late for first period.