Open Line of Conversation

“Each year, only about four percent of the women who graduate with a bachelor’s attend a women’s college,” says Scripps College Academy director Kelly Hewitt ‘08. “But they make up nearly all the women in Congress. They are twice as likely to go to medical school. They are twice as likely to get a doctorate degree. They make more money, on average, upon graduation.

“And they have more leadership skills.”

Hewitt’s message of women’s education and success hit the airwaves during her recent appearance on CBS Radio’s public affairs program “Open Line.” During her 30-minute interview with veteran radio personality Scott Mason, she spoke passionately about higher education, women’s colleges, and the Academy, which aids underserved women high school students in preparing for college.

“We had all of our [Academy] students go on to college [in 2012],” she says. “Ninety-five percent of them began at a four-year institution and about half started at a public [university].”

“We say, ‘We’re here to help you. We’re going to walk you every step of the way. You are great students. You’re prepared. You deserve to go to college. We’re just going to help you with the process.’

“We break down barriers so they can be successful in college.”

Kristie Hernandez ’13 also joined Hewitt to talk about her efforts with the Community Rights Campaign (CRC) to fight daytime truancy laws in Los Angeles, which currently penalizes students with hefty fines for missing school.

“The daytime truancy law is an issue the Community Rights Campaign has been working around for the past six years,” Hernandez says. “The police set up a table at the front door and anyone who’s even a minute late to school — even if they were on school grounds — would get ticketed anywhere from $295 to $999.”

Hernandez and the CRC used the tickets as a referendum on broader social issues in public schools.

“In the past five years there have been 54,000 tickets issued,” she says. “Eighty-eight percent of those tickets were issued predominantly to Latinos and African Americans. We need to empower our youth. We need to invest in their futures rather than policing them, handcuffing them, and ticketing them.

“Are we preparing them to work in an office and be successful citizens or are we preparing them to be incarcerated?”



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