Strongest Belief

On my first day of college english, a class dedicated to writing arguments, my professor handed out a prompt and told us to write an argument explaining our strongest belief to him. As I sat staring at the prompt, I wondered to myself, what is my strongest belief? There are so many things I am passionate about and believe in, but which of these is most important to me? My mind wandered over countless ideas of things I could write about; politics, being kind, saving the orca whales at Sea World, and so many other little things that matter to me. Then I remembered what had made me so excited and renewed my passion only days ago: visiting my old high school and interacting with the students within the APEX (Aspiring Professional Experience) program. In the 7-8 sentences required, I composed a (rough) short argument about the importance of student voice and professional development opportunities, which I would now like to share with you: “Students as young as elementary aged through high school should be given a voice in their own education and should be provided with opportunities that not only excite them, but teach them professional skills beyond the classroom. Giving students a voice in their education and professional opportunities keeps students engaged and excited in school and teaches them invaluable skills that will put them ahead in college and in the workforce. Coming from a school that was exceedingly advanced in this already has made me extremely grateful for the opportunities offered to me. This gratitude has sparked a passion for encouraging other students to participate in these programs and inspiring them to demand their administration to create opportunities for them. After participating in my high school’s professional development programs APEX (Aspiring Professional Experience) and School-to-Work (an internship program), I grew immensely as a person and as a young professional,. I fully believe in the benefit of such programs. Some may argue that because of a lack of school funding and resources these programs are too difficult to start up, which may be the case for smaller schools. However, it is the responsibility of larger school districts to get the ball rolling and establish professional programs so that students may travel to participate in these experiences if they choose. From there, larger schools can use their connections and experiences to help smaller schools. The benefits of professional programs that give students a voice in their education immensely outweigh the startup costs.”