Located in Southern Westchester County, Mount Vernon, NY is my hometown. I did not go to public schools in the city, but I have understood from a young age the connection between an effective school system and a successful community. Mount Vernon's schools are facing some challenges in the upcoming school year because the budget was voted down twice by voters. Attached to the budget was a NYS Bond that would have provided capital money for repairs and improvements. Mount Vernon residents are tired of poor school system performance, and are also frustrated with the heavy dependence on property taxes to improve the failing schools. This is why the budget was voted down twice. But other than an effort by the new mayor to save the sports programs, which were cut with the current contingency budget, no one has stepped up to say how they are going to help students do better at being students. Sports are a great supplement to the life of a child, but these students need help reading and writing. The Spanish-speaking community is growing, and while most of my hometown seems up in arms about the lack of sports, I am frustrated. I cannot just sit back and fail students in my community. I don't think I can save all 10,000 of them, but if in one school, we can find 15 students, then that's 15 students who will do better. Then we mentor them informally the next year while we work with 15 more. It's a small step, but it's a step, and I think it will inspire more people to do something about the situation.