Redefining Education: Breaking Barriers for High-Achieving Students - Cynthia Plouché

Talking Trends
3 min readJan 8, 2024

Stepping into the intricate landscape of education, I find myself confronted with a challenge that demands not just recognition but a strategic approach for transformation. The report, “Opportunities Denied: High Achieving Black and Latino Students Lack Access to Advanced Math,” serves as a compass, pointing towards a future where the equation is balanced and opportunities are not a privilege but a right.

As a business leader committed to empowering the younger generation to pursue and achieve personal and professional growth, the findings of this report strike a chord with the core values that drive The Alzenia project. The mission to raise and allocate funds for nonprofits aligns seamlessly to dismantle institutional barriers preventing high-achieving Black, Latino, Indigenous/Native American, and low-income students from accessing advanced math courses.

In 2024, envisioning a future that transcends current limitations becomes paramount. The robust body of research linking the highest math course taken in high school with postsecondary outcomes provides a roadmap for action. It is not merely about acknowledging the disparities; it’s about actively reshaping the educational landscape to ensure equitable opportunities.

Drawing upon my expertise and commitment, I see a multifaceted approach to making a tangible impact in 2024. Firstly, the integration of financial literacy and investment literacy into educational and afterschool programs is a strategic move. By incorporating these elements into the curriculum, we empower students with the knowledge to navigate not just academic challenges but also financial landscapes. This holistic approach aligns with the Alzenia Project’s overarching goal of preparing students for success beyond the classroom.

The focus on STEM education remains a cornerstone of our strategy. Recognizing the pivotal role that access to advanced math courses plays in college preparedness and postsecondary opportunities, we aim to enhance our support for STEM programs. By investing in initiatives that bridge the gap and expose underrepresented students to STEM, we open doors to fields that have the potential to reshape not just individual futures but the landscape of innovation and progress.

2024 is not merely a target year; it’s a call to action. Leveraging the Alzenia project’s network and influence. The recommendations provided in the report offer a starting point for dialogue and advocacy. By fostering collaboration with educational institutions, nonprofits, and policymakers, we can drive systemic changes that dismantle the barriers identified in the report.

Our commitment extends to creating and supporting early academic support programs. These programs, strategically designed for middle school and high school students, will not only enrich their academic skills but also provide a sense of community and confidence. The goal is to nurture a generation that not only excels academically but also approaches challenges with resilience and a belief in their own readiness for success.

In the journey of 2024, the narrative shifts from disparities to possibilities. It is about creating a future where high-achieving students, irrespective of their background, find themselves on an equal footing. The impact we aim to make is not measured solely in statistics but in the stories of individuals who, armed with advanced math education, navigate a path of success previously unseen.

As a businesswoman and advocate for change, my vision for 2024 is grounded in actionable steps, collaborative partnerships, and a commitment to support dismantling the institutional challenges outlined in the report. The journey is not without its challenges, but the goal remains clear: a future where every student has the opportunity to achieve their dreams, unencumbered by systemic barriers.

To meet other Alzenia Project grantees, visit the Alzenia Project website, or to get involved, connect with Cynthia Plouché on LinkedIn.

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