What Have I Learned?

Education and organizing are tools for empowerment that allow the most marginalized groups to uplift themselves from their situations. One of the main limitations of these programs is that they are not run by the people that they serve. There will be a disconnect between the practitioners and the communities so long as the voices of the communities are not included. When that experience or that expertise of living the life of a low-income POC student is acknowledged by these programs like Ella Baker did in her work the communities will have no real say in what occurs for their students. AEAPs are the bridge between the world of elite educational institutions to low-income communities of color. As a bridge they connect but fail to guide. Alumni of these programs that do come back and work for their AEAPs are essential in their ability to speak to the experience of those whom the program is serving. By uplifting their voice, allowing them to talk about their experiences they give power to those that will learn from them and come after them to do the same. They will offer up their knowledge and allow students to choose for themselves if an AEAP is a path that they want to take or not. This choice is important because it gives them control of their destiny without having the illusion of social mobility without a sacrifice.