Unlocking One's Unlimited Potential
Texas has a long history of racial segregation and discrimination against marginalized students. In the 1930s and 1940s, Texas had separate schools for Black and Mexican students. These schools were underfunded and in worse physical condition than the schools for white students. Even though the 1954 Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education eventually banned segregation in educational facilities, the effects of segregation and institutional disparities were long-lasting. Jearnine Wagner and other reform-minded educators sought to remedy these inequities. In the 1960s, Wagner and Trinity's students set out to help disadvantaged students gain a better education and to educate teachers on how to connect with students.
They did so through a program they called “Unlimited Potential.” In their own words, the program aimed to “guide the child into an understanding of his individual mind and how to continually educate himself throughout his lifetime.” In order to accomplish this, the Unlimited Potential team created several spring and summer programs to train teachers and students on how they can maintain their creativity.
In a subset of this program called Project Y, the leaders of Unlimited Potential facilitated theater events in Hemisfair Park in an effort to spur children’s creativity. A major goal of the Unlimited Potential program was maintaining and nurturing children’s innate creativity. Over the course of a decade, they worked with over 15 schools in the San Antonio Independent School District to do just that. The Unlimited Potential program made strides to create engaging workbooks that allowed students to teach themselves.
Starting this program was an uphill battle, and it continued to face pushback from those who saw no problem with the current school system. Despite this, those at Unlimited Potential persevered. They helped numerous children learn in a way that was actually productive for them. Furthermore, this program was one of the first to reimagine education and paved the way for educators today to unlock the unlimited potential of their students.