By Sheikh Musa Drammeh:
Bronx, New York (4/7/2019) – “My name is such and I attend Bronx Science; I attend Brooklyn Tech; I attend Stuyvesant; I’m heading to Columbia, Harvard, MIT…” was the theme of an amazing scholarship awards ceremony luncheon that took place in one of the thriving Bangladeshi restaurants in the Parkchester Section of the Bronx.
“I am jealous of you because I didn’t go to one of those elite high schools like you. But I’m very happy to know you will be the future of this nation. So continue to do what you are doing, support one another and don’t lose your culture,” said Hon. Darcel Clark, Bronx District Attorney, when addressing the students who were equally excited to meet her.
The Bronx District Attorney was invited as chief guest for Mujumder Foundation scholarship luncheon to help boost the morale of the students who may be under pressure to keep the tradition of Asian students’ high enrolments in these Specialized High Schools.
While the recently released 2019 acceptance numbers to these city’s elite Specialized Public High Schools reinvigorates the ongoing debates about fairness and blatant discrimination in the city’s public school system, the Bangladeshi immigrant students in Parkchester have nonetheless been getting into these high-in-demand schools the old fashion way, they earned it.
The Bangladeshi parents of these bright students are hard-working individuals whose primary goal is to have their children attend the best public schools and go on to the nation’s most prestigious IVY Leagues with full scholarships, just like their Asian brethren who make up the overwhelming majority of student populations of these elite schools. These parents sacrifices so much for their children’s education including holding multiple jobs to pay for tutorial services and private home tutors.
These Asian parents may have limited English proficiency and financial resources, however when it comes to the good education for their children in the United States, there is no limit to how far they would go to achieve it.
While there is no doubt something needs to be done now to increase the paltry enrolment numbers of black and Latino students into these elite schools, most parents in the Asian immigrant communities insist eliminating entrance exams (suggested by progressive politicians) should not be an option. They instead advocate for more investment to schools in the black and Latino communities as well as stronger parental attitudes towards high achievement from their children.
Mujumder Foundation Scholarships are for all deserving minority students regardless of race and ethicity.
Muhammad Mujumder, a father of two Bronx born; one lawyer and the other in law school, who hosted the event, spoke about his life of ‘rag to riches’ in the United States, the usual immigrant stories. He emphasizes the importance of good education using himself as an example. He is a leader and a role model in the growing Bangladeshi immigrant communities in New York. Mr. Mujumder is a highly visible community, political and immigration activist who serves on many boards including being the first vice chair of Bronx Community Board 9 and the chairman of its Land Use Committee.
Because of the overwhelming demand the scholarships, Mujumder Foundation is planning to host a second and larger scholarship awards ceremony to accommodate more deserving students, said Mr. Mujumder. Mr. Muhammad Mujumder is welcoming the guests who attended Mujumder Foundation Scholarship Awards ceremony.Guests at the Mujumder Foundation Scholarship Awards ceremony.