Penn GSE is an institution that serves the community it surrounds. It provides various resources to its community, especially to the schools in the city. Two of the resources are research and social justice. The research touches on different topics such as transforming mathematics from a procedural approach to a more practical manner by creating mathematical problems that can be applied to students’ lives. Social justice becomes part of the research by assuring that the solutions and answers that have been found, assist the students to become a more profound and well rounded democratic citizen. I chose Penn GSE for this reason. Penn GSE believes in what I believe in, which is that education is a human right and not luxury. Every child in  an urban and  a country setting has the right to have access to a quality education. Penn GSE does that with its grad students.For Penn GSE, education means social justice. The institute makes it its duty to make sure that the research that is currently being conducted by the faculty is one that will give children across the city and country the appropriate tools to become well-rounded democratic citizens. Penn GSE believes in what I believe in, which is education is a human right and not a luxury and is why I chose this institution.


I am a first-generation Colombian American. The first person in my family to have a bachelor ‘s degree and a Masters of Science in Teaching: PreK-4 from the United States. Penn GSE took the initiative and time to understand me as a person. They understood that the student that was about to enter through their doors has a story like many Latinos that come from an immigrant family. A story of surviving a broken system. My story is that I was raised by a single mother who is a housekeeper and was able to raise two children and get them through college. While my mother worked, I focused on fighting the effects of poverty by relying on my education. My education is what transformed me into the person that I am now, questioning the unjust and creating the just. The steps towards justice and equity have been given to me through Penn GSE through their courses and curriculum of how education should be seen in our world. Education is a human right once a child is born into our society. It becomes the survival tool for our future generation.


 In order to serve our future generations well, Penn GSE offers a supportive and informed environment to its graduate students from financial aid services to mental health counseling. What I admire and love about my graduate school is that they take mental health seriously and are willing to do as much as possible to reach out to a person in search of help. I have been in search of a school that would help me clarify my thoughts and support me as a whole because of my past. Penn GSE has done that for me since day one. I see my professors and the directors on a weekly basis to discuss my future and assure that I am on the right path.


Penn GSE is home because it is located in the city that I was born and raised in. Philadelphia is a city that will make you stronger and better than before. Like many cities, it has its ups and downs but the downs in our city are seen as pieces of art that will become the answer to a question. Penn GSE saw me as that, a piece of a puzzle that needs to be put into a puzzle board to make the others fit. Please join us and become another piece because we have been waiting for you to justify our education system.