Julia Ward ’17

Living in Delaware for most of my life, I have never considered Wilmington to be a dangerous place. It’s not, unless you go to two specific neighborhoods in the city. I am sure that we have all heard that Wilmington is one of the most dangerous cities in the country, ranking third on the FBI’s annual list of most violent cities of its size.  It’s crazy to think that Tower Hill School lies within the limits of the city, but we have no idea of the harsh realities that some citizens face everyday.

With the recent primary elections, Mike Purzycki was named the Democratic candidate for the Mayor of Wilmington, and he has a good chance of winning the final election. He has a lot of work cut out for him if he does get elected, however. He believes that “crime is a symptom”. A symptom of poverty, racism, lack of economic opportunities, drugs and alcohol, gun violence, rising dropout rates, teen pregnancy, stressed families and more. Public schools in the Wilmington area have a 60% dropout rate, and Wilmington is right between Philadelphia and Baltimore, making it an optimal place for people to take the nearest exit on I-95 to buy drugs. This image contrasts quite starkly with the suburbs of Greenville and safe campus of Tower Hill.

Purzycki believes that he can fix the problem with more jobs. Job training and creating employment opportunities will get people to stay off the streets and support families. In addition, he wants the future generations to have a head start, and Purzycki believes in after school programs for children where they can focus on their work and test their abilities. A recent program launched last week, called First State Squash, is an after-school program for underprivileged kids involving sixth and seventh graders from A.I. Middle School and Kuumba Academy which helps the students with homework while also teaching them the basics of squash. Not only does this new program foster a love of learning, but also gets kids active and ready to participate in a new activity. There are other after school programs for kids, too, that have been in Wilmington for many years, ranging from Rodney Street Tennis and the Boys and Girls Club.  

Starting with children, Delaware will lead to a more successful future generation that feels respected and cared for. Many students of Tower Hill do not know the harsh realities of a city that is right around the corner, and if we want to make this institution a “school of Wilmington,” we should start by getting involved with the community and its future generation. Wilmington has a lot of potential and continues to improve with new programs and institutions, and it is our duty to help facilitate this change.