Updated: Sep 23, 2021
Disclaimer: This blog post serves as a narrative that exists for my personal life. I am speaking about my experiences as a student, Admissions Officer and now School Administrator. Any similarities and parallels that are found with the words in this blog are intentional, on purpose and direct to the issue at hand. I am a Black man. I am the product of Sheila and Stanley Lee. My dad was born and raised in Baltimore, MD; my mom was born and raised in Nashville, TN. My parents represent two civil servants with approximately forty years combined of service at the time of their retirement.
Growing up, it was apparent that my parents placed an extremely high value on my education. This value was so high, they were willing to sacrifice my comfort level of being home with them, in order to allow me to attend an independent boarding school that is best labeled as Predominantly White Institution (PWI). I attended this school on financial aid.
My parents did their best to prepare me for the real world. I remember having these heavy, adult-like conversations at dinner with my parents. They let me know that I would be away from the safety of their protection; I’d be called something other than my birth given name; I‘d be giving up my diverse friendships from home; I‘d be one of a few black students; I’d be representing black students overall; I’d be unhappy at times; I’d be placed in classes, dormitories, teams and etc. where students and the adults at the school would not share my culture or life experiences.
My parents finished this tough conversation with the statements of, “we love you and only want the best for you. We will always only be a phone call away. This will make you stronger and set you up for life!”