In honor of Black History Month, Assemblyman Mike Miller partnered with Principal Drouillard at P.S. 254, the Rosa Parks School, to create a contest asking students to explain what Rosa Parks’ legacy means in their life.
Students were asked, “What can you learn from Rosa Parks and how can you make a difference in your local neighborhood or in the world?”
“Rosa Parks was the voice of a generation and we wanted to make sure that her voice was not lost” Assemblyman Miller said. “It was our hope that the students found the voice of Rosa Parks in their own essays.”
4th grader Cassandra Chloe Sison was selected the winner while 2nd grader Naomi Jiminez and 5th grader Rachel Chetram were given awards as runner-up.
“We’re proud of everyone who entered this contest. While there were numerous essays we narrowed it down to one winner. In Cassandra’s essay she told us ‘when you believe in something, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it, then you can reach your goal.’ We are all very proud of Cassandra and her ability to bring the message of Rosa Parks to Woodhaven.” Assemblyman Miller said.
Cassandra Chloe Sison
“I am tired of giving in!” Rosa Parks famously said. It was this famous line that inspired generations around the world to fight for their civil rights and for justice.
Why was it so hard for her generation to fight? Why did they wait for so long? Because it took a leader, that was ready to sacrifice for the good of the people and the good of the world. That person was Rosa Parks. She did not need to have a degree, she did not need to be rich, and she did not need to be loud. She only believed that… eventually her fight would bring freedom for those that couldn’t speak, peace for those that thought they deserved to be treated fairly, and prosperity for those that thought they should not give up their benefits because of their color.
We can learn many things from Rosa Parks, but what I learned most is to never give up. When you believe in something, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it, then you can reach your goal. Rosa never gave up. She did not stop, after getting arrested for refusing to get up on the bus, she continued to fight for freedom until the segregation law was aborted. But Rosa had said during a later interview that “One thing I know is that there is still unfair treatment and racism in the world.” So Rosa’s fight is not over, and this is one thing each and every child, parent, and leader of our world should fight for.
As a young student that lives in a diverse city and attends a school that has mixed race and culture, I will always practice what I learned from Rosa Parks. I will treat everybody the same regardless if they have a different culture, religion, or color. I will always respect their differences from mine. I will teach young people that don’t understand or are misguided. Each of our small voices will be heard if we all speak together, we all have to fight for peace and love all mankind.
Most of all, I will not let anybody treat anyone unfairly because of race and color. It took Rosa a lot of courage and dignity to speak up. So, I want to say Thanks to you, Rosa! We are what we are today, a free country, because of you.