Dear Katherine Johnson by Sage Rajkumar

Dear Katherine Johnson,

Hi! My name is Sage Rajkumar, and I go to Ronald H. Brown PS 155 Q. I am 10 years old, and I am getting ready to go to middle school. I have just started the RICH organization’s program called the Reach for Success Program. I am one hundred percent certain that you don’t know what this program means. Well it’s about helping you to respect yourself and others, and to help you in school using the four principles listed: I matter, I am responsible for my behavior, I am considerate for my classmates, and last but not least, I use thinking strategies for school and life success. This program has been helping me.

I wonder why Dr. Dawson chose to write about you. Well there are many reasons why I think she picked you from my knowledge. Well I know you were born in 1918. You also showed a real huge passion for math as well. We also know that you graduated high school at the age of fourteen and started college at age fifteen. You had graduated at age 18. At that time you wanted to become a researcher mathematician which was a blocked path for many African Americans including you because of racism and the negativity. Well however, you didn’t care and you fought those obstacles away which you have conquered, you kept on fighting to get that job no matter what was in your way. You have given me the passion towards fighting for my rights and can become anything I want. Many people need you as an example of life because you worked hard, and you showed many people including me that with hard work you can accomplish anything you want.

As you know I am Sage Rajkumar. I had started this program at York College about a year ago and came every Saturday. When I started this program, I was really shy and I had to improve on my math and writing. I was a level three student at both subjects. After the first semester, I had improved tremendously, getting a level four on both subjects. The RICH program helped me accomplish this by making me remembering these principles that I use in everyday life. I matter is the most important one that I use because it makes me remember to be confident and to make me know that I can do it and I am capable of doing that. I come from a culture called Hinduism, and that has many celebrations to respect the lord. I am not familiar with all the Gods and what they symbolize. My favorite subject is writing because it makes us express our feelings and makes you elaborate on your ideas. But my hobby is that I love playing on my PlayStation and coding on my tablet. My favorite color is blue because it reminds me of the black and summer sky. My favorite animal is a polar bear because it looks appealing. My favorite movie is Tyler Perry Madea Goes to Jail because of the suspense and the actions of what the characters do. My favorite season is winter because I cuddle up in my bed and because of Christmas. Last but not least, my favorite book series is Harry Potter. This is all about me.

My mom is from Trinidad. She came here by plane as an immigrant. An immigrant is a person that comes from another country. She came here because her parents thought that she had many opportunities and would live a better life. Well her parents were right because now my mom is a babysitter in the city and goes to college. My dad is from Guyana. He had moved to Miami at the age of ten with his dad. Then after 8 years, his mom went to American and so did he. So as you can see my parents are from the Caribbean which makes me a Caribbean child or boy.

There are many ways of how the RICH program is helping me respect my culture and others. The RICH principle “I matter” helps me stay confident and makes me think that I can do anything that I am apart of anything and I am a big part of the word. The other principle that I mainly use to respect other cultures is “I am responsible for my behavior”. This helps me know that I shouldn’t make fun of people’s religion and where they came from because I pretend how I would feel if I was getting made fun of. So I think the RICH program is being a big influence on me and makes me change my actions from how I was before.

There are many ways the RICH program is teaching me how to respect myself. The main principle for this is “I matter”. This principle teaches me to love myself no matter what other people think about me. Many people don’t respect my culture because of our celebration and think that it doesn’t have a purpose, but it does to my culture. Also, I know that I don’t feel left out because those people who disrespect our culture has other traditions that doesn’t seem to make joke of. This is how the RICH program is helping me respect myself.

There are many ways how the RICH program is making me be a leader in school. Many people in my school don’t have any etiquette at all. They’re just bullies who don’t care about anything. They say they would fail and so will I, and they have no confidence and doesn’t believe in anything. They just keep on doing bad and failing. Well another thing that makes me a leader is that people bully others which I do not because they might bully me, but I just ignore them because they’re just jealous! As I would say. Also, I stand up for people who are getting bullied.

Well as you can see there are many ways how you inspired me Mrs. Johnson. You had inspired me because you had taught me that anything is possible if you just put work into it. Many people need you has an example because many people including myself sometimes give up easily but you had never given up to get that job and that gives me confidence to keep on trying, and you will get what you wanted to accomplish. Her job that she wanted to get was a blocked path for many African Americans, but she had kept on fighting to get that job and eventually she did. This gave everyone courage to fight for their rights and make things equal and fair like how we live today.


Sage Rajkumar