Schools are social institutions. Children deserve the opportunity to develop into multifaceted and multidimensional people. Too often, however, American students are denied that chance. In the South Bronx neighborhood Melrose, students are vulnerable. Numerous studies find that the neighborhood’s schools are underserved and underperforming. However, there is more to the neighborhood than statistics. While it is crucial to understand the problems that exist, there is also a lot to be proud of. There is resilience. There is diversity. There is hope. There is energy. There is music. There is art. There are Yankees.
There are people who are passionate about urban education. Sister Patrice Owens has worked as an educator since the 1980s. She started her teaching career in a fourth-grade classroom in Melrose. She fell in love with the work and furthered her own education. In the early 2000s, Sister Patrice Owens came back to Melrose and serves as a principal of Immaculate Conception School. Over the years, she’s witnessed and helped facilitated neighbourhood change. A strong and determined principal of her school and advocate for the Melrose community at large, Sister Patrice Owens aspiration is to ensure that her students develop their skills and talents. She hopes that her students see themselves as contributors to society, to Melrose. She says, “it’s the whole child” that she seeks to develop.