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Today’s students will write the next chapter of Black history. So to celebrate Black History Month, EdTrust–NY teamed up with the New York State Education Department and the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to find out what students want the future to look like.

More than 100 students from Buffalo to Brooklyn have submitted reflections.

Throughout the month, we will continue posting #MyHistoryMyFuture student responses like these reflections:

“I see myself as a ‘New Age’ Martin Luther King, Jr. Not in the form of giving powerful speeches or sparking protests, but by breaking the mold and doing what others said couldn’t be done. No one thought Martin Luther King, Jr. would accomplish what he did, but he didn’t let those obstacles stop him. Neither will I let my obstacles stop me.”
– Elementary school student in the Boys Academy at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School 9 , Rochester

“I am excited for a future with opportunities for anyone and everyone.”
– Student at North Park Middle Academy, Buffalo

“I want to show people the power they possess in their brain, and the impact they can make on society. I will encourage all people, letting them know, ‘You can do anything you put your mind to. So always dream big and the sky’s the limit.’”
– Elementary school student in the Boys Academy at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School 9 , Rochester

“I see myself living in a much better world. I think people and ideas are going to change. Sometimes we are judged by how we dress, but people will soon see that we should be judging people by their actions. The future looks bright. If we continue to look up to others who fight for our rights, we can live in a better place.”
– Elementary school student in the Boys Academy at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School 9 , Rochester

“In my future, I see myself working as a veterinarian or a lawyer of corporate businesses. As a man of color, I think I will have to stand up for my people.”
– Middle school student at Enrico Fermi School, Yonkers

“My future is to be a voice for students and parents discouraged by our education system because of inequities and opportunity gaps.”
– 2nd year student in SUNY Cortland’s C.U.R.E. Program

“I see a future where everyone has a tunnel vision for their dreams and aspirations. The setbacks will not define you – your future success will. I dream of a time when black boys and girls will not be discouraged to pursue a certain career path because of their race or economic status.”
– 12th grader at Clara Barton High School, Brooklyn

“My future looks like a successful Spanish teacher, fighting for the education of the next generation.”
– High school student at the University of Rochester Educational Partnership at East

“I want my city to be unified. I want neglect and ignorance to become education and resolution. The lack of knowledge can no longer be an option or an excuse to the progress and process of building a better community.”
– 18-year-old member of the Breaking Barriers Youth Leadership Council, Buffalo

“I want to live in a place where I can prove everyone wrong that doubted me in the beginning. I want to be able to show others that you shouldn’t take negative comments to heart and to just flip it and make it positive. Remember to make your haters your motivators.”
– 9th grader at Pathways in Technology Early College High School, Brooklyn