Students of all races face challenges every day


Emily Schmid, West Windsor
I am writing in response to Min Li’s letter titled “Education the key to adult independence” published on Friday, Jan. 1.
I do agree with Ms. Lin’s point about participation in summer camps and programs. As an avid soccer player, I was involved in many camps in my childhood and am still involved with them in my high school years, simply because I love the sport and cherish every moment I learn something new or see myself getting better.
Every kid has the right to pursue his/her interests, whether it is sports, science, math, the arts, etc., and should be allowed to go to camps that specialize in these areas.
However, I disagree with her point regarding the differences Asian children have to go through during the college application process, especially when she writes: “In the meanwhile [Asian students] have to maintain high GPAs, devote to community services, pro-actively join all kinds of clubs, establish some sort of distinction in sports or art to make them stand out in the future sea of applicants.”
As a junior at WW-P High School North, I can sincerely say that all students have to achieve these requirements she listed. Asians, Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, etc. all feel the pressure and stress to fulfill these necessary requirements for colleges.
And the truth is elite universities will not accept anyone with a low GPA, a lack of involvement in various activities, or a dearth of adequate community service hours. The racial profile of the student does not matter as much at this point. It is not just Asian students who have to fulfill these requirements. At a time when the pool of applicants to colleges is so diverse, race has become a smaller factor into the decision-making process in comparison to academic profiles and extracurricular activities.
I am also puzzled when she says, “Asian parents and kids have to sacrifice their money, time, and leisure to meet the tangible but ever changing higher bar.” Doesn’t almost every parent, regardless of race, want what is best for his/her child? Don’t Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic parents make sacrifices for their children? Making sacrifices is an inevitable part of being a parent. This “sacrifice” does not discriminate by race.
My last comment about Ms. Li’s letter is when she mentions the so-called “divided community” she discovered at the school board meeting. As a member of the WW-P school district since kindergarten, I can honestly say I never really felt like there was a strong division in our community. In school, people are friends with people they want to be friends with, and race is not a factor in deciding who one’s friends will be.
However, after the school board meeting, people keep making assumptions that this “divided community” really does exist, even though that is not the case. Our community, although it has its differences, is not truly divided. If we keep saying that this type of division exists, then it will become a reality.
It is important that we recognize that all high school students, of every race, face challenges every day. We have to work through these challenges together, in a united manner. 
Emily Schmid 
West Windsor 