Minorities meet to address issue at Creek

Kiley Smich , Staff Writer

PASS, Partnership of Academically Successful Students, is a meeting that happens once a month and dives into parent and student concerns at Creek, especially with the minority population. 

Assistant Principal Marcus McDavid, one of the directors of PASS, says the goal of the group is to help find solutions to any problems or questions the minority community may have. 

“We’re trying to just listen to the students talk about their experiences and what challenges or pitfalls where they felt like they had been supported, or where they felt like Cherry Creek High School needed to support them more,” McDavid said.

Caramel Rouse, a parent of a Creek graduate, feels that this group has benefitted and supported her daughter greatly.

“It has focused on how to help my daughter, who’s a minority, kind of find her way,” Rouse said.

These meetings have united minorities and given them opportunities to talk to one another and communicate to see if they happen to be dealing with the same issues. The meeting is also consistent with focusing on futures and colleges for students.

“It’s given me information that I never would have known about had I not started coming to the past meetings every month,” Rouse said. “It was talking about how you go on to college if that’s what you choose to do and you’re able to find out if college is not for you.”

Senior Crystalina Wedlaw was one of the few students chosen to do a student panel at a past meeting. Wedlaw, along with other minority students, got the opportunity to talk about their experiences and views about what they thought needed to be addressed.

“It gave me a voice to be able to speak about the issues happening that sometimes the adults don’t necessarily solve,” Wedlaw said. “I think it could help with unity by letting minorities voices be heard.”

It is a challenge for educators to talk about race in a productive manner without someone feeling offended or hurt. PASS addresses these concerns and works towards creating a better environment for the minorities of Creek. 

“We’re making efforts to work with our teachers so that race and equity and education are all in the same conversation,” McDavid said.

Principal Ryan Silva is also engaged in PASS and plays a huge part has made it a priority of his leadership to address the minority community at Creek. Silva is regularly communicating with parents and students who need support and help with their futures outside of school.

“The purpose is to share what’s going on at the school with parents,” Silva said. “It’s important to get perspectives of all parents.”

Marilyn Pelch, parent of a current Creek student, feels this meeting is a good support group for kids from different ethnicities.

“You have a set of parents who are advocating for their kids, making sure their kids are comfortable and welcome in an environment where they are minorities,” Pelch said.

PASS is a great resource that is useful for students who are concerned and are seeking answers or comfort at Creek. 

“I want to make sure that when kids say ‘I go to Cherry Creek High School’, that I’m a part of the culture and I’m influencing the culture rather than I have to adapt to the culture,” McDavid said.