Monday, June 13, 2022

Claim Your Space™

 My last child, second daughter, graduated high school on Friday.

New state, new school, moved at the height of her notariety at her former school were she was a varsity cheerleader, a friend of many, a cellist, and a scholar. She was going to graduate almost to the day, a decade after her big brother walked in that signature robe

But we moved in August 2020 and she started again.

Watching her over the past two years has been a wonder to me.

She not only embraced the move, but walked in and indeed followed her father's advice to "Claim Your Space™

In her former school, she had her "Haitian Trifecta" of fellow Smart Black Girls™ who were in the AP classes, either as the only or one of two or three who had to remind the anglophiles in the room that their privilege did not give them the monopoly on understanding history or calculus.

When we moved, she started school online.  

It wasn't until they were finally able to walk back into the building - masked of course - that we she was able to evaluate her new space and begin the process of making new friends.

She did it.

With gusto.

It is something about her magnetic personality, her sharp wit, and her nearly unmatched intelligence that drew people in. She made the varsity cheer squad, was again the only Black girl in her AP classes and proved to the 'wannaberulersoftheworld' that she, too, was able to get into that top PWI on her merit and in fact, was awarded Honor status and merit scholarships. She followed her father's advice and in the short 1 1/2 years that they were in-person, left and inedible mark on that environment.

My daughter was accepted into all the schools she applied to except two where she was waitlisted. In all her acceptances, she was accepted into the Honor College and awarded merit scholarships. We didn't play the game of "she received over $XX million in scholarship offers" because it can be misleading. Those offers are only that high if someone applied to dozens and dozens of schools. She worked a strategy based on her major and where she would really be interested in attending.

When it came down to decision week, I was still in the dark. 

I knew the top three, but did not know what she was thinking.

Again, her father's advice was ringing in her ears and she was weighing her options as a future force in policy and law. She had attended PWI schools her entire life and while she celebrated her friend group that looked literally like the United Nations, there was something deep within her that wanted to not be the only Smart Black Girl™ in the room.

She chose an HBCU - Xavier University of New Orleans - to begin her studies as a Political Science major and Psychology and Creative Writing minor. She will play the cello and while the coach reached out, decided the top competitive collegiate cheer squad was not what she wanted to do in college. 

My daughter graduated on Friday. She received standing ovations for her graduation speech. Her phrase has inspired her classmates and with her entrepreneurial mother and big brother, already has her product line in the works. 

I'm not sure what the future will hold, none of us do, what I do know is that with her in it, it is only going to be sunny and bright.


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