My name is Jaya and I am the granddaughter of a political prisoner who has been incarcerated my whole life. I am a junior in high school and this is my first year of homeschooling. I love to learn and explore and discover the world as it is, was, and could be. People often ask me why I decided to switch from traditional school to homeschooling. High School had been difficult for me prior to homeschooling, not because the subjects were more difficult, but because everything had to be slowed down and paced out to ensure everyone could grasp, and later, test on the material. I chose homeschooling as a better means of education for me in order to further explore my capabilities and passions.
Traditional school was not only draining and many of its requirements, arbitrary, but it was also unhealthy for me. I have a condition that causes me to have petit mal or absence seizures from lack of sleep, too much stress, and general over-stimulation. These seizures are often mistaken as lack of focus by my teachers and peers, I have become very good at doing day to day activities through them with the help of therapy, diet, and exercise. When I decided to homeschool to pursue my passions I also chose it with my health in mind.
Homeschooling, thus far, has been a wonderful experience for me. I am less stressed, more active, more rested and, generally speaking, healthier. I write about art and music and history, I study human anatomy for my art career, I also study sociology and business while learning Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. I’ve learned how to find and build a community of peers who can help open my mind to new corners of the world using a different perspective. And I am able to learn more about things that directly impact me and how I can make a difference. This means getting involved in LGBTQIA+ rights as a queer person, BLM as a person of color, intersectional feminism as a young queer women of color. This also means spreading the idea of equality and justice through art and music and cooking because these, above all else, are my passions.
This year of homeschooling promises boundless potential and success, like a clear canvas. With my new freedom to gain credits while doing what I love, I want to travel to a Chinese speaking country as well as a Spanish speaking one, preferably Singapore and Mexico. While there, I hope to immerse myself into the language while learning about how politics and specifically political prisoners have impacted each country. I also hope to gain a broader understanding of racism, feminism, and LGBTQ dynamics in places that are less westernized than the United States.
It should go without saying that throughout this journey The Rosenberg Fund for Children has helped me realized that my dreams can become a reality and has helped me in my pursuit of creating social political change. In addition to grants, RFC staff shared advice and answered questions about my future goal: to take over the Fund my family created and continue the fight for justice and equality not just for the sake of my family, but for every situation where the fight must carry on.
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