Shortly before Santa Clara County's school closure and shelter in place announcements, Mayor Sam Liccardo met with a group of DCP students along with journalists from the New York Times to learn how youth are responding to and thinking about COVID-19.
"What is San Jose doing to limit the spread of COVID-19 among the homeless population?"
"Is the City committed to keeping libraries open since they are where we access the internet?".
These were just some of the discussion topics posed by DCP students when given an opportunity to engage with Mayor Sam Liccardo.
For over an hour, the Mayor answered questions focused on the City of San Jose's plans to care for its most vulnerable populations. The range of questions the students' asked were both personal and collective in nature. It was evident there was concern and anxiety over their own famililies' immediate well-being and economic survival. At the same time, they asked about the City's infrastructure and the needs of specific groups that are often left in the margins, especially in times of crisis.
DCP students have faced adversity throughout their lives. They have a complex understanding of this pandemic and its implications for San Jose's most vulnerable populations.
Sitting inside DCP El Primero's College Success Center, bracing for their lives and educations to be uprooted, our students were using their voices to be advocates and leaders.
Our students and families possess a large and complex world-view, precisely because they have already persisted in the face of challenges stemming from low wages, underemployment, and immigration status to name a few. It is humbling to witness their compassion, agency and problem-solving skills at work. This is why DCP is committed to elevating educational opportunity for them and their families.
We are grateful to Mayor Sam Liccardo for engaging with our students, for elevating their voices and for empowering them to be leaders and problem solvers in this crisis.