the herald news (northjersey.com) recently reported that paterson, nj's own tashera bolds is one of 1,000 students nationwide to be named a Gates Millennium Scholar for 2007.
tashera is an aspiring mathematician and this scholarship allows her to pursue her studies at syracuse university and beyond. but what we really need to celebrate is her symbolizing of inner city youth's grand achievements, the very youth who repeatedly get ignored, discouraged and devalued. she lives in one of paterson's public housing sites (as a grantwriter in paterson for the ymca i prepare many proposals for residents there who lose programming & services year after year because of federal funding cuts).
the media almost exclusively reports on the negative in paterson... the violence, guns, gangs, corruption, poverty, etc. it's time to spread the word about what i know happens in paterson, talented youth surviving and succeeding in a troubled, neglected community. if newark is in the throes of a renaissance, let's share the wealth and bring this wave of renewal to neighboring passaic county.
i'll leave you with tashera's words that say it best: "I can show that I am a living dream, and we can show our critics that through belief and teamwork, anything is possible."