By Sarah Malik, Chalkbeat, February 4, 2021
My family has always emphasized the importance of education. All three of my aunts are teachers, and my father has helped me with my schoolwork throughout my life. My dad enrolled me in a prep course for Hunter College High School’s admission test. The school, which is run by New York City’s university system and whose seats are highly sought after, serves students in grades 7-12.
When I was 12 years old, I passed the admissions test and entered Hunter.
But the following year, I went into foster care, and my progress was derailed. I was sent for “evaluation” to a group home, which turned out to be a lockdown facility. That meant body searches, room searches, monitored phone calls, only leaving the building with a chaperone, residents pulling the fire alarm at 3 a.m. to run away, frequent visits from the police, violence, and bullying. I was not allowed to contact my friends.