Author: Melissa Garcia
As a higher education institution, we at Bryan University understand the first day of school. It was not too long ago that Ruby Bridges, at the tender age of six years old, experienced a first day of school like no other. It was 1960, well before a child was ever thinking about attending college, that the United States was faced with educational inequities. Many of those same inequities still plague our society today. We believe in the words of the great Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Ruby played a significant role in history. Ruby was the first Black elementary student to integrate schools in the South at William-Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana on November 14, 1960. She unconsciously helped create a bridge between what was and what is, and just like that, she became an inspiration to many. She teaches us that it doesn’t matter how old you are or what you look like – we all have the potential to do great things.
Stories like these remind us of why Bryan University has the mission statement that it does: “We believe in challenging the boundaries of traditional education and in liberating the innate greatness in people.” It should not matter how much money you have or what color your skin is, the ability to get an education at all levels should be available to everyone. Thank you, Ruby Bridges for your courage and example!