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Ezra Yoseph

Ezra Yoseph, '21

Bridging Palo Alto's education gap

Buena Vista Homework Club volunteers make orange juice with children
Volunteers helping the kids make orange juice at the Buena Vista Homework Club

Following years of negotiations between its previous owner and Santa Clara County, Buena Vista Mobile Park survives as one of the few remaining options for affordable housing in Palo Alto. Unfortunately, the 400+ residents continue to be stricken by the harsh ramifications of educational inequity. Noticing that there were several academic outreach programs offered to secondary students but a lack of programs servicing elementary school students, Deborah Farrington launched Buena Vista's first homework club for younger children and enlisted Stanford University students as supporters and tutors.

My first quarter with the Buena Vista Homework Club (BVHC), through a Cardinal Course, Well-Being for Immigrant Children and Youth, instilled in me the importance of getting to know students and making time for conversation in between tutoring sessions. Understanding the backgrounds my students came from allowed me to come up with nuanced and effective goals for each meeting.

Simply put, access to educational resources at home is far from uniform, which inevitably leads to an immense number of low-income students getting left behind very early on. As we look forward to mitigating Palo Alto's education gap, we must sustain and promote programs like BVHC that support learning at a young age as opposed to waiting until it's too late.

Ezra Yoseph, ’21 majored in biology/neurobiology.
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