What Does America Need? From a Student’s Perspective
Could a class of high school students possibly have the answers for what America needs?
Wesleyan’s AP Literature and Composition teacher, Dotty Hoots, who has taught at Wesleyan for over 35 years, always challenges her students with their assignments. This semester, Mrs. Hoots assigned her class to write an essay with the topic of “My Vision for America.” The students examined ideas of religious freedom, love for others, diversity and more.
America is a diverse nation as many of our citizens have emigrated from other countries. These families came to America looking for a life of freedom and hope that God has so generously bestowed upon our nation. In the essays, some shared how their families had risked everything to come to America. For Youssef Gobran (12th grade), freedom of religion is extremely close to his heart. Youssef and his family moved to High Point in 2012. They are strong Christians and fled Egypt to escape an Islamic oppressive society. On March 1 of this year, Youseff, his brother, Sherif (WCA 9th grader), and his mom and dad became American citizens. “I see an unparalleled potential, in the United States, to become the greatest nation that ever was, is, or will be. As a relatively newcomer to the United States, I observe that Americans are generally kind and loving as compared to citizens of other nations. However, for our nation to be greater, Christians, echoing Christ’s love in our daily lives, could amplify national patriotism and the overall domestic excellence,” wrote Youssef. Other students shared how their families yearned for a better life in America. One student wrote that her father’s dream to have his own business motivated him to do all he could to become an American citizen, and he never forgot that it was because of God’s grace that he was able to obtain his goals. These students recognize that diversity does not have to separate us as Nicholas Chrapliwy described it best as he wrote, “I understand America as one community, even as one family. Composed of a myriad of different individuals from all the world’s nations in all the colors of the rainbow, America as a family is unique in its diversity…One feature unites us all – our identity as Americans.”
As Youssef reminded us of what “President Ronald Reagan so adeptly observed, ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.’” Today we know that this statement rings truer than ever. Youssef continued, “That is exactly why it is imperative for us to safeguard the values upon which this great nation was built and endeavor to uphold the Constitution, and by putting Jesus Christ in the center of our progress forward, we as a generation, and as the human race, can leave this world and this nation better than we found it.”
In a day where teens are often criticized for their indifference to many things, including our nation, Wesleyan is blessed to have students who realize that America was founded on God-given principles and know that our nation’s only hope is to turn our hearts toward our Creator. We are also thankful for phenomenal teachers like Mrs. Hoots who provide to our students a high caliber education, which will prepare them for their future. As our students graduate from Wesleyan, our greatest desire is that they will Know and Live the Truth.
Wesleyan Faculty and Administration