A Student View of the METCO Program

December 2016/January 2017 (Volume 67, Issue 2)

By Corey Jacobson, Staff Writer

img_20161129_144828Although Needham High School is predominately white, over 30 students come from the METCO program- a voluntary program that expands educational opportunities, increases diversity, and reduces racial isolation by allowing students from the city to have a suburban education. Although students may have classmates involved in the METCO program, it is difficult to fully understand their daily routines and situations. To get insights into the life of a Needham High School METCO student, the Hilltopper sat down with Chidinma Nwodo from the sophomore class.

Q: What are the strengths of the METCO program?

[Strengths include] the opportunities of a really good education and METCO takes advantage of it. There are also a lot of other students of color in many of my classes.

Q: What does your daily routine look like?

I wake up at around 6:00 A.M and get on the bus by 7:00. I get to the bus by 7:30. After school I stay after doing extracurriculars. I leave Needham at 3:45, take the train at 4:00 PM, and get home by 5:30. If I don’t stay after, I take the METCO bus home and get home by 3:30.

Q: Do you ever feel like you don’t belong entirely at Needham High School?

I never felt like I didn’t belong. That’s why I joined clubs like Student Council and Speech and Debate. As long as you make your time at Needham High matter, you can find yourself. Before High School, I felt like an outsider because I couldn’t really hang out with friends from Needham because I lived in Boston, but now that I’m at the high school I feel more included.

Q: If you had the choice, would you have joined METCO or had gone to school in your own neighborhood?

I definitely would have joined METCO because the Needham High education is really [valuable].

Q: Is there anything you want the other High School students to know about METCO?

There’s nothing really important, other than the fact that we’re students just like everyone else.

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