Ted Samaras

VIA20

NJ, USA

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Challenge

Lack of access is a problem that has many tentacles. While many point to a lack of access to technology for our students, our teachers are stating that there is so much more impacting their success. What is lack of access? The more I talk to teachers and community members, the more lack of access issues are mentioned. Examples of this are: lack of experiences; lack of rigor; lack of resources; lack of food; lack of support; these are just a few mentioned by my colleagues. The lack of access to essentials that students need has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a great scramble to get technology in the hands of our students. Still, there is so much more beyond the technology that students may not have access to. Getting the technology to the students is helping fill a great pothole; however, we need to address the multitude of issues that are causing the pothole to be there in the first place. It is more than just about the equipment and the technology. This was the case before the pandemic and will continue to be after the pandemic. When I started this application process, I thought about looking at specific lack of access in the college sports recruiting process and then in the technology world. The more I reflected on the problem and worked on my application, the more I realized that even if I selected one of these specific topics, the more that I would have to look at the daunting issue of access either narrowly or more broadly. By trying to look at the root causes and effects, tackling this challenge has the potential to help many people in a wide spectrum. Lack of access extends beyond technology.

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