Her School Offered a Path to the Middle Class. Will Covid-19 Block It?
A year ago, when Bianca Argueta was beginning her senior year at Richmond Hill High, she felt pretty excited about what the fall of 2020 might hold for her. Richmond Hill is a big, old-fashioned public high school in central Queens, the alma mater of Rodney Dangerfield and Phil Rizzuto, and Bianca was a top student there, full of ambition, part of the leadership club, taking A.P. classes. Her parents didn’t have college degrees — her stepfather was a metalworker, and her mother did accounting for a Long Island dairy operation — but from an early age, Bianca was told by her mother that a college degree would be essential. “She always knew I was going to be the kid to go to college,” Bianca told me. “She would remind me that I have to do better. I have to want more for myself.”