Preserving a minority community and culture
Jim Cho, MA ’18, grew up in Ohio, where he and just one other classmate made up his school’s entire Asian population. When he entered Teach For America, he knew he wanted to work with kids who shared that experience of being the other—and he wanted to be immersed in the preservation of a minority community and culture. That drive landed him on the Lower Brule Reservation, in South Dakota, where over the course of four years, he shared everything from morning prayers to backyard barbecues with his Lakota students and their families. Now having graduated from the Policy, Organization and Leadership studies (POLS) program at the GSE, Cho looks forward to returning to a Native American population as a principal. His ambition: to create an environment where learning can happen from the ground up, and not just from the top down. That’s especially important in places like Lower Brule, where there’s a history of unwelcome intervention from outside authority. “Education should not be another kind of colonization,” Cho says.