A little more than sixty years ago, nine African American students, registered for school by the NAACP, began classes at Little Rock Central High School protected by soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army. It is challenging enough to be a high school student today. Imagine what it must have been like for these young students who were physically and verbally abused by their classmates because of the color of their skin.
The struggle for quality education for everyone continues today. The Connecticut legislature, as it tries to address the budget crisis approved a $300 million cut to the University of Connecticut. UConn Board of Trustees Chairman Larry McHugh described the cut as “probably the worst attack on public education” that he has seen.
One in five students at UConn come from low income families and 40% of the students are people of color. We all need to stand up for access to quality education for all people.
One of the ways we have done this is through the Ida M. Masselli NAACP Scholarship fund.
Each year the NAACP-Middlesex County Chapter selects an outstanding student to receive this scholarship. In celebration of the 100th birthdays of Ida and Nicholas Masselli, Mark Masselli expands the scholarship to support two students.
Hopefully, more people will speak up for quality education, and if they are able to support scholarship funds so that students will have access to quality education and a greater chance of success in a world where their voices are desperately needed.