Mass. -- Wellesley College first-year student Rosa Fernandez
of the Bronx, N.Y., will be featured in a new book published
by Columbia Teachers College Press in February called
Letters to the Next President: What We Can Do About the
Real Crisis in Public Education. The book features a
prologue by actor and comedian Bill Cosby and an epilogue
by the late Senator Paul Wellstone. Fernandez's chapter,
titled "Journey to a New Life," is the lead chapter
in the book.
"Various writers including parents, teachers, students,
senators and public administrators have been engaged in
an intense discussion about how to improve domestic education
policy in the next presidential elections," Fernandez
said. "In the chapter I wrote, my personal story is
revealed through my experience at a small school in New
York City and my participation in the creation of a small
school in the Bronx."
was born in the Dominican Republic; she and her twin sister
immigrated at 14 to New York, where they joined their mother
in the Bronx. Her experience at Manhattan International
High School, a small public school, led to her serving on
a new school planning team for New Century High Schools
in the Bronx. There she collaborated with What Kids Can
Do, Inc., on the 2003 booklet "The Schools We Need:
Creating Small High Schools That Work for Us."
Wellesley, Fernandez has been involved in the Latin American
Concerns Organization and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Science Mentorship Program. At Manhattan International High
School, she was active in student government, State Senator
Liz Krueger’s Youth Civics Program, School Leadership
Team, NYU High School Law Institute and the Upward Bound
Program, among other endeavors. Through her work at the
Bronx's Discovery High School, she has served as a student
leader on the school's Planning Team and has tutored and
recruited other students.
to the Next President is a collection of more than 30
letters that speak to the heart of public education, the
future of American students and the need for an educated
and engaged citizenry. Top education experts, elected officials,
business and community leaders, teachers, principals, elementary
and secondary students and parents discuss the shortcomings
of current state and federal policies and offer suggestions
for what can be done about it.
in time for the 2004 elections, the book responds to government
directives and under-funded requirements for local schools
and districts and reopens a discussion of critical issues
in public education.
hope everyone has the opportunity to read the letters of
so many voices about one of the most significant issues
of our democracy: the education of its youth," said
Fernandez. For more information about Letters to the
Next President, visit www.tcpress.com.
1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an
excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make
a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston
is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states
and 68 countries.