Editor’s note: Your Dream is Our Dream: Celebrating Student Success brings you conversations with students about their dreams and the educators who ignite and inspire them. In a new series from School News Network, students from all levels of education share in their own words and pictures how learning connects them to achieving their goals and exploring their ambitions. An initiative of Kent ISD, Your Dream is Our Dream showcases student success and how teaching and learning help make dreams come true.
Grand Rapids — City Middle eighth-graders Krishna Mano and Josiah Osei-Ageyman competed this spring in the Urban Debate League Middle School National Tournament and were national champions in the Public Forum Debate Division. They both have big dreams for the future.
What is your dream?
Josiah said that his dream is to become a game developer and programmer.
Krishna worries about misinformation in politics and across society and dreams of creating an online platform in which “children can use their unique experiences and wisdom to keep a check on adults.” Since the summer of 2021, he has hosted a YouTube-based talk show called The Take With Krishna Mano, in which he works to explain current events and pressing topics in a simplified and understandable manner.
Why is this your dream?
Krishna said there is nothing he enjoys more than connecting people from diverse backgrounds and “guiding them to understand their differences and cherish their similarities.”
For Josiah, the dream to become a game developer and programmer begins with his desire to be a coder. “I enjoy the process of creating things,” he said simply. “And so I want to be able to create things that I myself would normally enjoy, including things like video games or apps.”
What do you hope to do as a career or occupation?
Josiah would like to start his own game studio, but also has an eye on other types of coding projects. Although his career is a few years away yet, he said he does plan to work more broadly than just game development and also plans to “create more wide-spread and generally useful apps that I can develop to keep my skills sharp long-term.”
Krishna is interested in a career in the legal justice system and perhaps becoming an elected official someday. “I see these honorable positions as the perfect opportunities to follow through with my dream of unity,” he said. “Legislation has proven itself to be the most effective form of change time and time again.”
How are school and your teachers helping you achieve your dream?
Krishna said that at City High Middle School, “the administration and teachers are beyond encouraging and supportive.” He added that writing and editing for City’s student newspaper, The City Voice, as well as actively participating on the speech and debate teams, have provided many opportunities to gain valuable skills and talents as he works to pursue his future dreams.
Josiah was equally effusive about City and the teachers he has had there. “My teachers are helping me accomplish my goals by encouraging me to learn how to enjoy learning,” he said. “And by teaching us subjects like math, science and English, they let us explore for ourselves how to problem solve and how to gain and apply knowledge in ways that help us reach our goals.”