STUDENTS | June 16, 2020
Two Uplift High School Graduates Ready to do Their Part in Creating a More Equitable Society
Though her career aspirations have changed over the years, Rysa Binion has always used her interests to better those around her. In elementary school, she wanted to be an actress, so she helped convince her principal to let her and her classmates perform monthly plays to strengthen the bonds within the school community. At Uplift High School, she’ll never forget how her U.S. History class opened her eyes to the injustices permeating nearly every aspect of society. Learning about how the healthcare system can often discriminate against Black women has led her to commit to Howard University with the hope of becoming a nurse one day.
“I’m constantly telling myself that I’m on the right path to do the right thing and that I need to stop doubting myself,” said Rysa. “The people around you should not be able to discourage you because they are not on the same path as you—only you are going to be on this path.”
While Rysa has lived in the Chicago area her entire life, her fellow graduate Fama Camara’s path grew nearly 2,000 miles when she moved from Jamaica to Chicago at the age of four. Growing up, she attended several elementary schools in different parts of the city before entering Uplift as a high school freshman. Her educational journey solidified her belief that all schools should have teachers who are actively committed to the growth of each one of their students. As math has always been her favorite subject, she’ll be attending McKendree University as a secondary education major with a math focus. Her plans for becoming a math teacher are rooted in how she likes to learn.
“As a math teacher, I plan on incorporating visual learning into the classroom,” said Fama. “I’ve felt inspired to become a teacher because I feel that I have the momentum to create positive change within the CPS system.”
If there’s one part of Uplift that Rysa will never forget it’s Kuumba Lynx—the school’s Sustainable Community Schools partner agency. Through its programs, she participated in performances that connected to themes of social justice and important issues such as global warming and food deserts. Being a part of Kuumba Lynx helped Rysa amplify her own voice, something she knows she will take with her for the rest of her life.
“I would describe my high school experience as a metamorphosis,” said Rysa. “I was a lot of different people in high school and was struggling to determine if I wanted to be part of certain groups, but my time at Uplift has helped me see the person that I want to become moving forward.”