There’s no denying that today’s high school seniors are stressed. But to what degree do Philadelphia high school seniors suffer from additional pressures brought on by racial dynamics in education? This panel will take a closer look at the student narratives in Try Harder! The featured panelists will help contextualize Lowell High School’s position in the San Francisco school district, think through the ways in which Philadelphia’s public school system reflects and differs from what we see in the film, and analyze what these examples reveal about the intersections of race, higher education, and educational access.
Claire Nguyễn, moderator: Originally from San Jose, California, Claire Nguyễn is a senior at Penn studying History and serves as the Co-Chair of the Asian American Studies Undergraduate Advisory Board. They are also an organizer on VietLead’s Community Defense team and immerse themself in Southeast Asian and Asian American student organizations and spaces. They enjoy exploring library stacks, cooking with a lot of garlic, and watercolor painting.
An.nie Phan (she/her) is a writer and futurist educator. She was raised among the cottonwoods of Albuquerque, New Mexico and now raises hell in San Francisco. Annie mainly teaches humanities and health education and prioritizes boundary-setting, wellness, and criticality in the classroom. You can engage with her work on Medium, Twitter, or Ko-Fi under the handle @MsPhanLearns.
Dương (he/him) migrated to Philly in 2008 with his family. Dương is a queer Chinese Viet/Southeast Asian and was a co-founder and Youth Organizer at VietLead, a grassroots organization working with Southeast Asian and other BIPOC communities in Philly and Camden. Dương has worked to support the leadership growth along with the social, emotional, and political development of over 300 Southeast Asian youth since summer of 2013.
Anea Moore is a recent Rhodes Scholar, who received a MPP and an MSc at the University of Oxford. As an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, Anea helped to found the school’s First-Generation, Low-Income Student Program. A Truman Scholar, Anea has held a variety of roles in Philadelphia public schools, in local government offices and non-profits, and at the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for African Americans. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of Reclaim Philadelphia’s Education Caucus and as a Board Member for Philadelphia Youth Volunteer Corps.