At Providence Academy, especially, there has been another phrase I have been uncomfortable with: the ‘Providence Academy bubble.’ Some find this cute, others find this unsettling, but the consensus is, this bubble exists. I have always interpreted this incubator in different ways. It could mean that the education system in unparalleled, teachers and students alike foster such an intellectually stimulating environment that places us above other schools, a floating bubble (I am sure admissions agrees with me). Others could say that this bubble is actually symbolizing the tight-knit community at Providence Academy, and our love and devotion is so deep that this separates us from other schools. This makes us, ‘A school like no other,’ and this is a definition that I actually do quite like. However, it is my senior year, a year of cynicism and criticism, and so came my third definition to attempt to properly describe the meaning of this ‘Providence Academy bubble.’
In my time at Providence Academy, although to be fair, it is only four years, I have not gone out to serve the local community. We did not spend time talking about the ails of women in the workforce, to help educate the women at PA. Nor have I read more than five books, whose authors are people of color or women. The change will only come when there is a demand for it, and as students, we honestly don’t care. To read Of Mice and Men, is the same as reading Their Eyes Were Watching God. When a PA student makes tie blankets for poor children in Minneapolis, or collects change to raise funds in Africa it is considered no different than serving at a soup kitchen in a rough area of city or providing healing via conversation with children in a homeless shelter.
This is not the fault of Providence Academy alone; it is vibrant among many schools, it is instilled in the hearts of our generation. When I created MSTC, I was doing it to rewrite that code. MSTC (Minnesota Students Taking Charge), is a public organization that I, with the help of Mary Olson, created. In order to really educate our generation, we sit down and have open discussions about these social issues like classism, racism, sexism and etcetera. And afterwards, we go out into the community and practice what we preach. It is open to high school students, no matter what your background, and joining is as easy as emailing me. The issue is not inherent in any institution or a single person; it starts with the children, with the teenagers, who perpetuate falsehoods because they haven’t had a desire to be taught anything different. I encourage students to join MSTC by emailing me, or simply telling others about it. It starts with us.