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My class from Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School took a trip to Rochester last week to be a part of Time Warner Cable's Connect a Million Minds program that was hosted by Al Gore.

Many other students and teachers attended the event, as well as speakers who discussed their opinions as to why American students are lagging behind students in other countries.

The speakers, such as former NASA astronaut Sally Ride, talked to us about how math, science, technology and engineering are important to their line of work. Every job discussed involved a lot of math, physics and technology.

American students are falling behind because our generation is too distracted. Today, many students are more worried about social status, cell phones and even clothes rather than learning. Education doesn't seem to be a priority to many students. Don't get me wrong: There are students that study, read and work very hard. But in most schools today the majority of students do not seem to be focused on learning; and if anyone doesn't see anything wrong with that, then America needs a reality check.

If the students today are the future of our country, then we don't want our future to be uneducated. As a country we need to get more involved with our schools to help students advance to a new and better future. Without education, our future isn't going anywhere, and something needs to be done about it.

The Connecting a Million Minds Global Online Town Hall is a great start to addressing the crisis. I just hope that our country and the people who have the ability to make a change follow through and really do something about it. My future depends on it.

Mekhi Young is an eighth-grader at Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School.