March For Public Education Speaker: Nicholas Zaborowski

July 22, 2017

Part of a series highlighting speakers for the March For Public Education.

Nicholas Zaborowski, speaking at the March For Public Education, July 22, 2017

Good morning everyone! My name is Nicholas
Zaborowski. I’m 18 years old and graduated high school last
month. They say it takes a village to raise a child. I’m here today
to attest to this. I grew up in Philadelphia and was raised by a
blue-collar single Mom who worked persistently my entire life
in order to provide for my sister and I. While I was able to see
my Mom a couple hours a day, it was the education system that
ultimately shaped me to be the man that I am today. While
teachers provide us with so much, students still interact with so
many others, such as guidance counselors who help with
emotional needs, coaches who give advice, nurses who improve
our health, librarians who provide us with knowledge, cafeteria
workers who feed us and even the maintenance staff. These
people are all a part of the school’s “village” and shape us to
become good people. The education system and the faculty I
interacted with provided me with not only many academic
opportunities but also extracurricular ones as well. I was
fortunate enough to have so many programs to utilize, such as
the school band, No Place for Hate club, school Newspaper, and
National Honors Society. I also had remarkable teachers, who
provided me with so much knowledge in courses from Art class
to Physics. After four years of hard work and determination, I
was ranked number 3 in a class over 200 students by the end of
my Senior year. Although I was successful in the classroom as
an academic achiever, I considered my true passion to be in my
school’s music program. I was a member of my high school

band for all four years and I treasured every moment of it. The
school music program was a safe haven for me, because I was
able to decompress following all of the stress to do well and
succeed throughout the school day. It empowered me to practice
what I love within a school facility, where I could grow as an
individual under the supervision of so many mentors and role
models. I’m proud to say that I’m continuing my music
education in the Fall at Temple University in Philadelphia,
where I will be majoring in Music Therapy, so that I can use my
talents that the education system has provided me with in order
to empower others to express their unique gifts to bring about a
positive change in the world. Statistically, the longer a student
studies the arts, the higher the scores they achieve on
standardized tests. Why is it that the arts and music programs are
often the first to be eliminated during budget cuts? The
government knows how beneficial education in the arts is, but
funding is still under threat today of being decimated from
budget cuts. Programs that shape children’s lives are too often
undermined and underfunded. The education system in America
must provide exceptional faculty and funds, especially for
children of low-income households, in order to provide a high
quality and well-rounded education to drive students to aim for a
successful future. Speaking of children’s future, teenagers today
are living in an epidemic, where too many of us are pressured to
go to college. Why is it that every year more people insist on us
kids going to college, while the quality of education in many of

our grade schools and high schools is diminishing, and we are
becoming a generation drowning in debt, and unprepared for
college. According to the National Center for Education
Statistics, the 6-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time
undergraduate students is 59 percent. I was fortunate enough to
have a great guidance counselor in high school, who helped me
apply for many scholarships so that I could alleviate some of the
burden of college tuition. We need to demand more mentors like
this in our schools who can help us establish our future. Our
government must keep our students and communities as their
top priority and increase the standard of America’s current
education system. A part of the American dream is that
everyone shares an equal opportunity to determine their own
future based on their merit and hard work, but this ideal is under
threat, and if we don’t demand equal opportunity now, we’ll
never get it! Thank you.

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