Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Faces of excellence

Recently the Boston Globe ran a page of photographs and brief interviews with the 38 valedictorians of the Boston Public High Schools. It was a striking mosaic. Eighteen of the students were born outside of the United States, three in Albania. Others came from Haiti, Peru, Vietnam (2), Uganda, China, Cape Verde (2), Venezuela, Morocco, Dominican Republic, China (2), Bangladesh, and Tibet. Of the US-born students most were (by appearance) Black and Asian. The brief interviews did not reveal every student's ambition, but of those who indicated their plans most look forward to careers in science or medicine.

I looked at that page of eager faces and took hope -- hope for the future, hope for science, hope for inclusiveness and civility. It made me terribly proud to be an American at a time when we have ample reasons for pessimism and embarrassment.