Blog Reflection

25 05 2012

Although having a blog as my senior project product may be determined “easy” to some people, the purpose of the senior product is exactly the same.

I chose to use a blog as my product because a majority of the population is connected to social media. A blog is faster and easier to update and access.

My topic on urban violence and education may be unoriginal, but I feel that I attacked presenting this blog on a different scale. Overall, I’m very proud with what I have to present and it makes me feel even more proud knowing I can educate whomever comes across my blog but at the same time speak in my own opinion, whereas if I chose to do a magazine, I would have to do otherwise.

Urban education is something (I feel) not enough people pay attention to. It is such a major issue in America, but rarely do schools like mine ever get any attention financially. According to, on a state level, education and incarceration funds come from the same pocket, except $9 out of $10, support imprisonment. (You may access the full article here.)

Before I started working on this blog, I knew that the Oakland Unified School District’s dropout rate was dramatically high (nearly 40 percent), although it looked worse compared to San Francisco’s low percentage (11 percent).  (

I want people to be educated about the violence issue in urban areas and know what they can do to reverse its effect. Knowing that changing society’s perception isn’t going to happen overnight, I take the first step onto improving my community by making my voice become heard with this blog. Nothing is going to happen if one simply complains about what needs improving in their so called “home”. This is why I chose a blog as my senior product.


Survey Results

8 05 2012

If students complain about the lack of  “fun” activities on campus, why do they not take initiative to join programs of their choice?

Also, how do students agree to a proposal of an 18 hour minimum of attending an after school program such as a club, tutoring program or job, but don’t attend an after school program because they are “uninterested”?

I conducted a survey on my senior project topic ‘Urban Youth Education’ and these results came in.

When I asked if they were involved in an after school program, 54.2% of 24 students they didn’t, and 45.8% said they did. Nearly all of 13 students who answered ‘no’ are the ones who are for the proposal of 18 hour after school program requirement.

A specific student requested that the school should “engage” with students more to “build a better support system” for the student.

From experience, I know that teachers at Fremont do attempt to build strong support systems and relationships with their students but certain students don’t either acknowledge their actions and/or they reject and distance themselves from any adult on campus.

The teachers I’ve met and built relationships with at Fremont did support me and I did feel like I can go to an adult whenever I needed help. And from what I see, it just seems as if underclassmen (mostly freshmen and sophomores) ignore and brush off the teachers’ offer to help. They constantly complain about how the teachers are “bitches” and “hella annoying”, when in reality, they’re just trying to lead these students down the road to graduation.


Matthew Phork: Zero to Hero

1 05 2012

The challenges this particular student went through highlights the senior class of Media Academy.

This student is the perfect example of a very determined, yet struggling student in Oakland, CA.

Matthew Phork made his start in San Francisco, then to Illinois, thenVan Nuys, then to Long Beach, then Oakland, and Long Beach again, then finally back to Oakland.

Phork was just another slacker in school; uninspired, tired, lazy, didn’t care too much for his education. This caused tension and stress for him and his family. He walked the streets of Long Beach with curiosity and not a single care in the world.

When Phork’s mother passed away during his senior year, he was taken in by his sister who lived in Oakland. Eventually, tension and drama arose in the household of him and his sister and eventually, Phork found himself jumping from family to family in order to keep a roof over his head.

Because of the lack of high school credits, Phork wasn’t able to graduate in 2011, like expected. Instead, he spent his summer going to summer school to officially start catching up on his credits.

In Phork’s second year of being a senior, he worked extra hard to make sure he was going to graduate. With 145 credits to makeup and the Marines on his mind, he sacrificed playing football for Fremont and hanging out with friends after school to attend Cyber High.

It is now near the end of Phork’s senior year, and it looks like he has nothing more to worry about other than passing the classes he’s currently taking.

In his journey to graduation, I believe his story can inspire a lot of students who struggled the same way he did.

A high school diploma is all he needs before he pursues his dream in the Marines.