We Are SFUSD
"We Are SFUSD" shares real stories about our students, staff, leaders, and families with the community of San Francisco. Take a glimpse into the lives of the people who makeup SFUSD, and learn how SFUSD core values to be student-centered, fearless, united, and to support social justice and diversity leads the work every day in our schools.
Cobb was my first choice. It has a strong restorative practices culture. That was really important for me. My daughter is biracial. I wanted to make sure that her culture was understood and reflected in the school.
Having dropped out of high school and becoming homeless myself, I understand the struggles our homeless students face and want to give back. Years ago, I broke into a church. I was allowed to live there as a janitor while I pursued my counseling degrees. There are about 2,600 homeless children in our district. I make sure to give each student and family 110 percent. These students need support. They need compassion. They need a caring adult.
In Robotics, we’re making a freight elevator. I’m really proud of that because my code is pretty good. I accomplished it early, and the build looks really nice too! Our school is like any school, except for the different classes we take. I like learning things that you wouldn’t learn at other middle schools, like robotics and app design. When I grow up, I want to be an engineer, a physical therapist, or a dialysis technician. I’m applying for internships at the California Academy of Sciences and the San Francisco Zoo. It’s going to look good on my resume.
Visitacion Valley Middle School is a place where you can be yourself. The teachers really take their time to get to know their students. We create a curriculum that is interesting to the students and caters to their needs, wants and interests. We’re a family here. I felt welcomed since the beginning.
I’m proud that I learned coding in a short amount of time. Now I can do more stuff on the computer than I could before.
“My dad heard about Willie Brown Middle School. At that time, Willie Brown wasn’t even built. It was a metal structure. When I first went to see the school it was covered in plastic. I didn’t know much about it. But my dad said, ‘Willie Brown is going to be a new school, we should try it.’ It’s new -- why wouldn’t anyone want to try it? I listed it as my first choice. Now I’m going to be the first class to graduate -- that’s pretty good. I like that.”
I hope that in the future my students are the ones becoming the mayors, doctors, policy writers, community leaders and organizers, and teachers. I’ll know I’ve been successful when I have a student who becomes the first Latino president, the first Filipino president, the first transgender president -- when my students are really pushing for these spaces and changing our society. In the short-term, I want my students to believe in themselves, go into higher learning, and use their skills to change society. To paraphrase Tupac: I might not create change, but I can spark the mind that’s going to create change.
“For me, it’s about love and peace. Don’t fall into the trap of what the media is saying -- use your own judgement when listening to news. Not all Muslims are bad people. We have feelings and opinions just like any other person. It can be hard being a Muslim outside of Wallenberg, but when I’m here I feel accepted for who I am.”
I like math because it’s really fun and I’m good at it. I’ve been doing math since I was 3. My parents would write down problems and I’d fill them out. My favorite thing about learning is becoming smarter.
When I’m outside of school, I feel like an outsider. But when I’m here, I feel like part of a family. My teachers and friends don’t treat me different because I’m Muslim. I have Muslim friends, but we’re not friends because we’re Muslim. We’re friends because we have common hobbies. I’m glad to have so many loving friends and teachers.