On Friday, January 5th, PeerForward students were featured on “The Daily” podcast by The New York Times. Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Affirmative Action in higher education admissions, there has been a great deal of uncertainty among students, parents, and educators. Jessica Cheung, a producer on “The Daily,” explains how, over the past year, both students and college officials have tried to navigate the new rules.
Throughout the podcast, various students expressed their confusion and concerns over the Supreme Court ruling, including Francesco and Jordan, two New York City Peer Leaders.
The end of affirmative action led some students to shy away from mentioning their race in their college essays. Francesco Macias, a senior from the Bronx, decided to refrain from mentioning his Hispanic roots, despite considering it to be an integral part of his identity. He expressed a concern that, without Affirmative Action, he may be subjected to negative racial biases if he were to mention his background. “I have pride for my race. I’m not saying like, oh, I’m ashamed, but specifically pertaining to college application, I want to show them who I am as a person…I don’t want to be confined by this preconceived notion of me being Hispanic and I don’t know [the college admissions officers’] attitudes or their feelings, but whether I like it or not, there are people in the world who don’t like my race,” he said. “If [affirmative action] were an advantage to me, then I’d take it. But now that it’s gone, I’d rather play it safe.”
Other students chose to discuss their race regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision. Peer Leader Jordan Williams decided to center his college essay around his identity as a Black kid raised in the Bronx. While race is no longer a consideration in the college application process, he still wanted to share that aspect of his identity.
Since the Supreme Court decision, PeerForward has remained steadfast in its approach, guiding students through writing personal statements for admissions essays that reflect their authentic selves. You can listen to the podcast here.