Allen students bring a lot to Iola



February 11, 2019 - 9:48 AM

I was born and raised in Topeka by my single mother, a descendant of Irish immigrants; my father is African-American and Native American. I often joke that at birth I won the “Minority Bingo.” My prize was a unique culture, but growing up, I noticed a persistent lack of opportunity.

I didn’t feel seen, respected, or valued by those who represented me in the halls of power. I imagine that sentiment is something many of us share, regardless of whether you’re urban or rural, black or white.

As a kid, my understanding of rural communities was only based on hearsay and stereotype.

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