Dr. Akins Makes History at DMAE

On Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, the North Library was packed within 15 minutes once students were told a special speaker was coming. Her name was Dr. Sondra B. Akins, and she truly inspired some students in the crowd to continue their education.

Dr. Akins is considered a History Maker, someone who was involved in important historical laws and ideas. History Makers is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to have role models meet school children to inspire them towards their success. Dwight Morrow High School is one of 200 schools participating in this program. However, as advisor Michael Passow stated, “We were special because our speaker was actually affiliated with the school.”

Dr. Akins was head of the science department as well as an administrator of Dwight Morrow High School 18 years ago. She became friends with Dr. Passow who knew her in the past.

Dr. Akins came to Dwight Morrow to speak to the students in Ms. Acebo, Ms. Presinazo and Ms. Satterfield’s second period history classes and share her story. Before beginning her presentation, Dr. Akins told the students, “I am sure my story is relevant to all of you.” She went on to explain her passion for chemistry that began when it was the subject she struggled with most.

As an African American woman, she had to fight for her education during segregated times. Dr. Akins grew up in a predominantly African American community, similar to Englewood. Once the people around her began to further their knowledge, it inspired her to continue her education. As she stated in her presentation, “Education is the path to equality.” She explained the importance of setting high standards for oneself and never letting financial problems get in her way.

After the presentation, students were given the option to sign the History Makers Commitment Pledge. Students recited the pledge with Dr. Akins, signed a special document, and received a sticker as recognition of their participation. Many students signed up, much to the surprise of advisors.

“It is rare that you will ever hear history from a person who lived it. All of the students should take advantage of this,” Ms. Satterfield said.

Next year Dr. Passow plans to make the event bigger and invite all DMAE students to listen to the words of a History Maker.