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Jonathan McCray

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Fellow Students: Speak Out!

Posted: 11/21/10 08:19 PM ET

"Students Sound Off," is an ongoing student blogger contest aimed at providing students a loud and clear voice in the education debate presented by HuffPost Education and Get Schooled. To kick the contest off, Jonathan McCray, a high school junior participating in The College Success Foundation's programs, wrote on why he believes his classmates and other students should make their voices heard.

Students at my high school are speaking out on the lack of resources in our school system. I represent students by speaking out about things that we need in our school and our community. This is important to me because we should have a voice or a say in our education and should speak out about issues that affect us.

For example, we need more books and supplies, and teachers need more resources to make our schools better. In spite of these challenges, our teachers go the extra mile and continue to encourage us to keep going, to be successful and to strive to be productive young adults and students.

The community that I live in is not the greatest environment for a young person to grow up in because of the many challenges we face, like poverty, violence and drugs. In order to succeed, a young person has to be determined and willing to work hard to achieve their goals. Many people from Southeast DC graduate from high school and go on to college and most of them are the first in their families to do so. So, DC schools have problems but they also are sending students to Yale, Penn State University and many other universities.

I would like to see a better school system in the next few years and for all states to work to make life better for young people by making schools better. I want to let young people know that no matter what is going on in their communities or school systems they should continue to strive for success.

Also, I want them to know that it is their responsibility to speak out about the lack of resources and other problems in their schools and communities. Dealing with the challenges that face our schools and our communities can feel overwhelming but if we work together and we all do our part things can get better.

There is an old saying that states, "if it is to be, it's up to me." This is my motto and one that I think all young people should use to raise their voices and be heard.

Are you a high school student who wants to sound off to the HuffPost community and win a chance to blog with a celebrity, politician or activist? Find out how on our contest page.

This contest is brought to you by Waiting For "Superman".