My Roeper Story is about how special Roeper is to me.
As I sit back and reflect on my experience at Roeper, I have to say, I took my time at Roeper for granted. Not my education, but the environment in which I was provided the opportunity to learn. The most important part of what you learn during your time at Roeper actually doesn’t come out of a classroom academically, but is reflected in the classroom by the teachers, the environment, administration, students and community, and that is “The Roeper Philosophy.”
As I continue to grow, I often hear people say that’s just the way it is, or that’s just how I was taught. Roeper never told me what to think or how to think, they just encouraged me to be a constant thinker. They taught me that my mind was valued as an individual and my presence was necessary in this world. They required me to be in control of my successes and responsible for my failures. They challenged and pushed me to be out of the ordinary and to proudly be labeled as a Roeper Kid.
I would be lying if I said that Roeper’s way of teaching has not caused me a lot of funny looks, misunderstanding, and constant arguments. People don’t always understand why I have to figure things out for myself, why I have to do things my way, or why I don’t have biases and prejudices against other people. I can understand both sides of a story, and most importantly, that I can be myself, accepted or not, regardless of who I am around. I can express myself without tearing others down, I can see the world through a lens that was created by me, no matter how ugly that picture may look, I can make it beautiful. Roeper taught me that being myself and being different was important, no matter how it looked to others.
When I graduated from Roeper, I was prepared academically for college, but I was also prepared to be a strong citizen of the world, a person free to think and change the world, but I also understood the responsibility that came with that freedom. I’m truly grateful for my time there and Roeper will always be special to me for that reason. It was such a blessing.
Aisha Ellis-Gordon, Class of 2008