Education & Schools

Ivy-League educated mentor once lived in a women’s shelter before settling into urban ministry and a new place on Syracuse’s South Side

lateshiabeachum
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Every Tuesday, 10 or so high school girls meet in a second-floor South Side apartment.

Most attend Corcoran High School and like to share the ups and downs of their week and talk about their budding love lives through an activity called “Happy, Crappy, Sappy.” At one recent gathering, they discussed the logistics of getting to prom and what they would like to wear. Some sat cross-legged like pre-K students on two black futons and others stretched across the hardwood floor, wrapped in blankets. Their giggles and chatter over a movie faded as they broke for a meal of a large chicken tender, seasoned fries paired with just the right amount of ketchup, and a tangelo, all served with a lemonade-flavored

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Ashley KangIvy-League educated mentor once lived in a women’s shelter before settling into urban ministry and a new place on Syracuse’s South Side

Literacy lessons are still part of life for mother of six in Syracuse who never gave up on her education

lateshiabeachum
Alberta
A young black girl in Ellabell, Georgia, wanted to learn. It was the 1960s, and the Supreme Court had declared in the mid-1950s that separate was not equal.

She was bused from her tiny town, not far from Savannah, along with a handful of other black kids — children who were part of a national experiment to balance the country in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education. She would get on the bus, in the back, eager to learn. But at school, she was taunted and spat on by her white classmates. Her teachers ignored her. She and the other black children were often sent home for made-up reasons, while their white classmates remained to learn.

She later left the South for another life in Syracuse when

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Ashley KangLiteracy lessons are still part of life for mother of six in Syracuse who never gave up on her education

Single mother works for minimum wage to support two daughters, pushing them to earn a better education

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Romeka Maxwell looks out the window of her house on Catherine Street.

It’s a pretty day. The sun’s out and the wind rustles through the trees.

She looks below at her elementary school-age daughters — 9-year-old Linda and 5-year-old Diamond — as they run around the grass with some other children Maxwell is babysitting.

“I’m mad mom sent them outside, and why she’s not outside?” Maxwell says loudly so her mom can hear her from the kitchen, not taking her eyes off the window.

“I am going! I am going!” her mom says from the kitchen.

“You should’ve had them wait.”

“They’ll be all right.”

“There’s not kids out here, there’s adults out here.”

“Trust me, nobody

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Ashley KangSingle mother works for minimum wage to support two daughters, pushing them to earn a better education