PEOPLE OF HPS: Martin Luther King Jr. School 8th Grade Student: “If We Achieve Our Dreams, We Achieve His Dream”

PEOPLE OF HPS: Martin Luther King Jr. School 8th Grade Student: “If We Achieve Our Dreams, We Achieve His Dream”

Published on Feb 4, 2016
 
He’ll be leaving the only school he’s known only a few months from today. But before going out the door at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School for the last time, Jaden Ward already has a dream that one day he will rise up as an entrepreneur.

 
 
He’ll be leaving the only school he’s known only a few months from today. But before going out the door at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School for the last time, Jaden Ward already has a dream that one day he will rise up as an entrepreneur.

Jaden, a 13-year-old student who is about to graduate from 8th grade, sits down at the office next to Principal Doreen Crawford to talk about his recent reading of Martin Luther King’s monumental, “I Have a Dream” speech at the cafeteria.

 

Jaden (right) reads the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“It felt exceptional. The fact that I was chosen to do such a big memoir and it just felt like, it’s not really a dream, but it felt fantastic to finally be chosen for something that’s so big,” says Jaden with a wide smile on his face. “I had to go get a blazer and church shoes. I got the church shoes but I couldn’t get a blazer anywhere.”

Jaden was able to borrow a jacket from a teacher, “and I’m sitting around, and it’s so big on me.”

He’s been going to MLK since kindergarten, but Jaden says it was in 3rd grade that he began to make a place in his mind and his heart for Dr. King, for his words and for his actions in the struggle to build a better community with opportunity for all.

“The teacher, she brought in the Dr. Martin Luther King book and we read it. And I was just like, I was like ‘wow!’ And then later on, like different school years, probably 4th grade and up, I was getting into it. Like, ‘Wow! He did all this wonderful stuff for us and you know, to have peace and love all over this land.”

This year, Jaden read “I Have a Dream” in the cafeteria on Dr. King’s birth date. “I love the respect from all the adults and the kids that were in the cafeteria with us.”

“Those words mean to me that change has happened, but it’s not done yet,” says Jaden. “In Dr. King’s speech he talked about police brutality, and even today there is still police brutality. So I mean, we have a long, very, very long way to go. If we really want to practice Dr. King’s words, we have a far way to go to achieve his dream.”

Is Dr. King’s dream achievable?

“Yes! I think as long as we achieve our dreams, we achieve his dream,” Jaden continues. “To be a part of his dream, I’m going to do exactly what he did. Not exactly. I mean no violence, non-violent, no violence at all. If I wanted to see and live his dream, I’m going to live my dream. My dream is to be an entrepreneur and start a successful business, and have my dream job, the job that I always wanted. So for me to follow my dream I am succeeding and helping him with his dream.”

 

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