Opinion by Rahm Emanuel: Building Better City Schools in Chicago

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, May 17, 2012

During my campaign for mayor, people would often ask me why I wanted the job.

Given all the challenges facing our city, I understood their skepticism. After one year in office, I don’t hear that question any more. I hope people can tell that I consider being mayor to be the best job I’ve ever had. I get to take in the full sweep of this incredible city and see all that Chicagoans are doing to build a brighter future.

Just last month, the international spotlight shone brightly on Chicago as Nobel Peace laureates from around the world enjoyed all that our city has to offer. Most importantly, they got to see our greatest asset: our children. At Von Steuben High School, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was amazed to see a student body composed of over 126 nationalities.

Both he and I were deeply impressed by the young lady who introduced him, Manal Saleh. Born in Yemen, her parents brought her to Chicago, where she received opportunities she could never have hoped for in her native country. Today, she is the school’s valedictorian and has a four-year scholarship to Northwestern University.

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