Most people have their mixed opinions whenever someone mentions San Bernardino. the first thoughts that comes to many people’s mind are crime, murder, and bankruptcy. It is unfortunate to see how terribly our city is portrayed knowing that there are thousands of striving Americans who are trying their hardest and pushing themselves to rewrite this false narrative. If you live in San Bernardino, you are immediately labeled as someone who “lives in the ghetto” or someone who “won’t go to college.” Many people struggle to look inside the heart of the city and that is where you will come to a realization that this city is not as bad as you may think it is.
We currently have hundreds of high school students pushing themselves to set a better path for their future. Many Cajon High School students are in the MYP/IB program (75 Full IB Seniors) and they are getting college course credits for these classes. These students, including myself, are trying to get a jumpstart on their future. I can almost guarantee you that majority of these students had a family that struggled to get them where they are at today, but that did not stop them. Both the students and their families stay motivated in trying to set a concrete foundation for their future. Other opinions about San Bernardino are that “people are lazy” or that “they all just end up doing drugs or dropping out of high school.” I’m sure that there are some students or even adults in San Bernardino that did not finish high school, but just because there are a few does not give you the right to label everyone in the city.
We have hundreds of high school graduates from San Bernardino who are going to Universities all across the United States. We have some who are excelling in majors such as music and law. We even have a Cajon graduate, Dexter Thomas, who won the Pulitzer Prize a couple months ago. I got the chance to interview Dexter alongside my editor and we asked him a couple of questions about his experiences as a Cajon High School student. His response being “I was in full IB, even though my teachers did not think I could do it. I came in wanting to do everything.” Dexter is a perfect example of someone who has rewritten the narrative about San Bernardino because not only did he prove his teachers, but he also overcame the obstacles that a young man or woman faces when growing up in such a broken city. He has transitioned from a Cajon High School graduate to a Pulitzer Prize winner and I am sure many of young adults see him as a role model. Aside from academics, we have dozens of adults here in San Bernardino who are striving politicians and are trying to make a difference in the city. For example, Pete Aguilar who is running for U.S congress grew up in a working class family right here in San Bernardino, California.There is so much potential in this city and it seems that the people from the outside are failing to see it. Of course, we would not be labeled as such a terrible city if the things mentioned about us were not true, but it is unfortunate to hear that people have given up on us. This city still has a lot of fight left in it and the hundreds of hard working, self determined, and motivated individuals will prove everyone who doubted us wrong. We will turn this city around and I am proud to say that I am from San Bernardino.