“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” -Henry David Thoreau
“A basic element of the American Dream is equal access to education as the lubricant of social and economic mobility.” -Nicholas Kristof
As I write this post I am three days away from the start of my long anticipated adventure. I am fully prepared and the moment cannot come soon enough. My gear is purchased and packed and I have poured over numerous Appalachian Trail memoirs, guidebooks, and blog posts. I’ve hiked over 300 miles in preparation and funds have already begun pouring in from generous donors who see the value of a Logos education. In three days time, I will be standing atop Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, ready to begin what I have long set out to do. As I stand on the precipice of my adventure, I reflect back on the school year, looking to take the values that I have learned from my students with me on my journey.
In the United States of America, we as citizens, pride ourselves on being able to provide a quality education for all people, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and gender. Sadly, this vision of the American educational system is merely a dream. The reality is that the quality of education a student receives depends largely on geography. For families of lower socioeconomic status, the possibility of living in a higher income community, and sending their children to a school with an established track record of high academic excellence is all too often impossible. How can we as Americans, who boast of a quality education for all, continue to uphold and perpetuate this system of inequality? A gap exists between the perceived state of the American educational system and the reality that exists in the lives of American children. And for this reason, I feel called to teach at Logos Academy, a vibrant learning community that is dedicated to providing a high-quality education regardless of a family’s economic status.
A Logos education, however, does not come cheaply. Every year, Logos Academy raises thousands of dollars of scholarships so that all students in the York community can be given a quality education. And for this reason, I am asking you to support the children of York, in giving funds to provide scholarship opportunities, as I hike the southern half of the Appalachian Trail. Every day this school year, I have had the privilege of guiding my students as they exercise their God-given curiosity in the pursuit of knowledge, despite numerous obstacles that society places in their way. Through my students, I have learned perseverance, dedication, and patience, and these values will serve me well this summer as I set off to hike 1100 miles on the Appalachian Trail from Springer
Mountain, Georgia to the Pennsylvania/Maryland border.
~ Jonathan Desmarais, Upper School Teacher