WEAC Region 6 member Nick Meinel says Whitewater school closed the achievement gap by believing in its students

Thanks to the efforts of educators like WEAC Region 6 member Nick Meinel, Washington Elementary School in Whitewater has made huge strides in closing the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students, one of the ongoing goals of public education. The school motivates students, Meinel says, “by making this their positive place … by letting them know that no matter what happens here, we still believe in them. We still care.”

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Racine student finds his voice through activism

As a member of the student organization Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES!), Racine Horlick High School student Gabe Hernandez has a strong voice in his school and community. The student-led, social justice organization of around 600 students in 15 schools and universities in Racine and Milwaukee — along with its parent group Voces de la Frontera — helped to successfully push back legislation proposed by Wisconsin lawmakers that threatens immigrant communities. One such bill would encourage law enforcement to contact ICE during routine interactions. “If that bill were to pass, families like mine will feel so unsafe living here,” says Hernandez.

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