Being a Minority and Attending Houston Christian High School by Josh Adam Farris

Below is a piece written by Josh Farris, a recent graduate of Houston Christian High School. Because of my interest in students/teachers of color and independent schools, I wanted to get the point of view of a minority student after three years of HC. Josh was a student in my world history course during his sophomore year, and was a leader in my mentor group; I have never seen a student grow and mature as much as Josh did.

Where to begin? Well coming from a public school that was very diverse, then going to a private school that only had two blacks in a class of over one hundred people, I knew some things would be different. Growing up I had never thought about going to a private school. I thought I was going to start and finish high school in Cy-Fair’s public school system. But, one day after church, I received a phone call from my dad asking me if I wanted to go to Houston Christian High School…for free! The scholarship came from an outside organization willing to pay for everything as long as I maintained high grades. Neither one of us had ever heard of the school, we just knew it was a private school that just won state. So I thought about it for a while and ditched the dream of going to the University of Texas because of the top 10% rule that Texas has and said I would go to Houston Christian High School. After some interviews, essays, and other screenings to make sure I was able to keep up with the school work, I was able to go to Houston Christian High School. My First year at Houston Christian High School was a big transition. I would often fall asleep in my classes because I was use to 30-45 minute classes. But at HC, classes were over an hour long. It was also a big culture shock. Being able to count all of the people like me on one hand was somewhat different. But, nevertheless, by the time my senior year rolled around, classes that once seemed too long were not long enough, and my relationship with other students pulled us together to the point that we were all alike. I matured a lot academically and as a person due to the rigorous college prep environment. I matured because of the expectations that were set and because of what was demanded. It makes you grow up to the point that you must get your work done, and done well; if you don’t you won’t succeed at HC. Playing a sport, especially baseball and going to HC is not an easy task. Both academics and baseball are very demanding and take up a lot of time.

I did well academically, taking Advanced Placement classes in the fields of science and math, but also took AP English too, which is why I am majoring in mechanical engineering. Attending HC gave me time to adjust to how a college schedule and workload will be presented to me once at Baylor University. I would much rather have gone through what I did at HC than to have experienced it first in college. Being in a different environment has been one of the best things that have happened to me. The scholarship people were right in the potential they saw in me. It was wonderful experiencing the things I did and some of the opportunities I received while going to HC. I never even thought I would rub elbows with the children of CEO’s, lawyers, millionaires, and other high socioeconomic status families. It was quite an experience. But I learned that branching out and putting yourself in a new environment can only be a good thing, because in that time you learn so much about yourself and other people. Not everything will be good, but you will still learn a lot. I learned no matter how much money someone has, they are a human.

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13 thoughts on “Being a Minority and Attending Houston Christian High School by Josh Adam Farris

  1. I love hearing about these great students you teach. It sounds like the campus dynamic is very good for minority students. With students like Josh I guess that is the norm. The work you are doing, are you considering looking at some of it from an ethnographic perspective as well? That would be very inteesting.

  2. The 10% rule only (I think) exists in the state of Texas; in 1995, the infamous Hopwood case stated that no Texas school could use affirmative action as a process to diversify its campus; in return, the state pushed the 10% rule as a means of assuming campus diversity; it has failed. Texas A&M is one of the least diverse schools in the nation.

    Any student in the top 10% of his or her class will be admitted into any Texas public school. I am not sure how this works for out of state applicants. I do not like this rule because it ask students to maintain such a rank from 9th – 10th grade; it in many ways fails to see the progress of students over time. Now, because one is not in the top 10% does not mean he or she will not get in at the school of his/her choice. Trust me, I have seen it happen. I would like to see this rule go away. I think it hurts those at really good and competitive schools that have not given in to grade inflation.

  3. Kudos to Mr. Farris. This young man seems to have a bright future ahead of him.

    Eddie, is it your experience that, regardless of race, the kids who do well academically are the ones who have supportive parents? Josh sounds like he has a dad who has taken an active role in his son’s success.

  4. Yes he has. I am very thankful for it also.

    My father is the one who disciplines and stays on me, while my mother encourages and motivates.

    If it weren’t for either one of them I wouldn’t be in the position I am today.

  5. “I learned no matter how much money someone has, they are a human.” Or doesn’t.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Josh. What a terrific opportunity!

    Edward, I applaud your encouragement of your students. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Another Great Student « The Professor

  7. love the unself-concious candor of the remark about high worth individuals being human…it was a truthful way to say you didn’t know about me and I didn’t know about you…hope this young man has gone on to great success at Baylor

  8. I NOTICED MOST OF THE BEST RATINGS FOR THIS SCHOOL WERE BEFORE 2011! I AM SURE IF PRESIDENT BUSH OR HIS WIFE HAD ANY IDEA OF THE THINGS THAT WENT ON IN THIS SCHOOL, THEY WOULD QUICKLY DISASSOCIATE THEMSELVES WITH IT!
    This school is NOT a school for BLACKS! It’s NOT a school for CHRISTIANS! It’s not a school for good teachers who care about their students. Teachers are threatened into treating the kids a certain way. They talk leadership but DONT display leadership. The students are constantly degraded and spirits are beat down. Parents are afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation against their children. If there were a poll taken at this school the census would show the Dean and Principal are the most hated people amongst parents and students. Kids love this school because there is a brotherhood and sisterhood developed amongst the students. IF YOU LOVE YOUR CHILD DO NOT PLACE THEM HERE!

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