Why I’m here

I am here today because back in 8th grade my ELA teacher (Robert Uhl) told the class about a program where you could write about what you believe in, by coincidence I was already writing about what I believe in. I thought this program would make it visable to more than just my classmates I believe this would make a change in South Burlington’s community a fairly big change. I’ve been tackling this what you may call “struggle” since I was in 4th grade, just finding out what diversity and racism really is. I knew I’ve always wanted to make a difference to help people who are being affected by this. In 4th grade I wrote about how Ruby bridges was affected by racism and read it in front of the whole school hoping they wouldn’t be like the kids in Ruby’s school and more open minded and not judge others due to their skin or be caught in the effects of a single story. I joined this program hoping I could change more people in this community.





Minelle Sarfoadu

4 Responses to “Why I’m here

  • Dear Minelle,
    As an old writing teacher and a member of Bread Loaf NextGen, I was moved and so glad to read that you listened to what your 8th grade teacher told you about What’s the Story Vermont. Joining this community of writers and advocates for change with your years of interest in issues of racism, tolerance, and equity – with your knowledge of Ruby Bridges – and others – is important. All good wishes for this year with WTS.
    Dixie Goswami

  • Emily Rinkema
    5 years ago

    Hi Minelle,

    I am so excited to be reading your blog posts this fall. I am a teacher at CVU high school and work with teachers around the district as well, helping them improve learning for students. I am thrilled about your focus on racism and your passion for change. You wrote that you hoped students can be, “more open minded and not judge others due to their skin or be caught in the effects of a single story.” I can’t wait to be with you on your journey as you figure out how to help this become a reality. So so important. Did you watch the Ted Talk called “The Danger of a Single Story”? If not, Google it. If so, how do you see that informing your work?

    Good luck with the start of school and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts!

  • Dear Minelle,

    It was great to meet you at the kick-off day. Although this course will challenge you, at the end of the year I think you’ll find that you will have made an impact that extends beyond your classmates, your school, and maybe even your community.

    I will second Emily’s recommendation of the TED Talk “The Danger of Single Story” and add a recommendation of my own. Check out the website disrupttexts.org (or #disrupttexts on Twitter). It’s a relatively new site for teachers looking to increase diversity in the books students read and interested in incorporating more anti-racist and anti-bias teaching into their courses. If you check it out, I’d be interested to hear what you think.


  • Emily Gilmore
    5 years ago

    Good afternoon, Minelle!

    I am a Social Studies teacher at South Burlington High School. While I know I am not your World History teacher, my 9th grade course curriculum is closely aligned with yours, and I am excited to see how you use the curriculum from What’s the Story as well as within World History to add a new perspective.

    Something that really stood out to be from your post was when you mentioned being inspired by Ruby Bridges. I remember learning about her when I was also in elementary school and it broke my heart to think about how much adversity she faced when trying to access equitable education. As a teacher now, it feels surreal that all people do not have equitable access to education due to circumstances outside of their control, specifically aspects of identity. I will be interested to see how your passion for social justice evolves through your experiences in What’s the Story and in your 9th grade World History class!


Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *