Our Diversity Makes Us Stronger

The step team performing on Main Street in front of the school.

Diversity is one of the biggest challenges we embrace here at The Lake. Wilde Lake’s diversity score is 70 percent, which is higher than the state average, 40 percent. We have African-Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians, Afro-Latinos, Asians, Middle Easterns, Africans, and Hawaiians. From celebrating culture day, to having different clubs, and even having different flags around the school, we embrace all of these cultures.

And yet, all people can see is the “blackness” within the school. I remember when I was an 8th grader going into freshman year, and I was nervous to come to Wilde Lake. I had heard the rumors that were spread, and as an African-American person, I was so scared of being called “ghetto.” I didn’t want to be categorized as violent or loud or ignorant, or any of the other racist stereotypes that go along with being black.

When I came to this school, I realized that that’s not what it’s like at all. Sure, fights do happen, and people are loud, but that’s how it is with any school you go to, whether it’s a middle school, high school, or even college. Loud people are everywhere and fights happen when people get upset, so it’s not necessarily just our school, it’s life and that’s how life goes.

Being a diverse school gets us ready for the real world. It helps us to understand how to communicate with various kinds of people and how to respect different cultures other than our own. For me, being in a diverse school has helped me to explore my own culture and meet people from multiple backgrounds.

In middle school, I hung out with one group of people and they were all white. I found myself trying to be like them since I wasn’t exposed to a diverse culture. I even straightened my hair everyday so I could somehow fit in. When I came to Wilde Lake, the culture was a game changer for me. I found people who looked like me rocking their natural curly hair, I saw girls wearing hijabs and showing pride in their cultures, and I admired it all. I wanted to be like them in the sense of showing pride and getting to understand everyone else’s culture. Now since I’ve been exposed to many different backgrounds, I know how to treat people with respect and understand everyone’s individual culture.