D.C. students see Obama's success through DePaul alum
Published: Friday, January 16, 2009
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
As President Obama makes his transition into the White House and many Chicagoans, like proud parents, watch over him, some Washington D.C. high school students also have been busy welcoming the new guy to town thanks to a DePaul University alum.Students from Theodore Roosevelt High School followed the exhausting campaign with much help from DePaul Law School Alumna (2001), Stacy Yule, who is its AP Government teacher.
"When Obama won the nomination, I showed the students his speech and they just hung on every word," said Yule. "I printed out all of the words and let them follow along."
Yule, who initially wanted to work in immigration law, soon realized she wasn't enjoying her time in the legal profession. She made a decision to enter a teaching education program at George Washington University and immediately knew she wanted to teach government related classes.
Now, in her third year as a teacher, she's been able to "sneak in lessons" to her 12th grade AP government class using the campaign and the 2008 election as teaching tools.
"There was so much enthusiasm behind all of it," she said. "We talked about weekly updated electoral maps, who was winning in which states and what demographics determined whether states went red or blue."
But there was another lesson Yule was hoping to get across this year in an election with such an unusual presidential candidate as Obama.
"So many of my students come from disadvantaged homes, most of them do not have a mom and a dad," she pointed out. "I can give them an example of someone who's made it without a traditional family. Now when I say, 'you can make something of yourself if you choose to,' they believe it. That's huge because the community my students come from doesn't look to inspire to make a difference in where they live."
Miles Jackson, a student in Yule's government class, recognized Obama's win as a calling for citizens to take responsibility.
"While I hope that Obama is able to provide some type of relief for those who are struggling, I also know that to have any real change requires the citizens' help," said Jackson. "It is up to us to put in the work to make sure we're better off in our own lives and not be so quick to put all the blame on one person when things get rough."
Jackson, a senior, looked to score front-row seats to the Inauguration, joining a crowd of 2 to 3 million people at the National Mall to witness history. "I entered a contest where you have to write a 500-word essay about how you could contribute to your community; the winners receive front-row seats," he said. "I hope I win, but if not, I plan on watching the event with my family."
No matter where Jackson saw the Inauguration, he viewed the event as a proud moment for America.
"I've read about the Million Man March and while it was significant in its own right, I couldn't relate to it because I was too young to understand why they did what they did," he said. "But as I get older, God willing, the biggest thing I can take from this is telling my children, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren that I was there. This will be a moment I will never forget for as long as I live."
(Sophia Madana is a graduate student in the College of Communication)