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The girls at Maya's new school are way too tough for her. Luckily, she is transferred to a rich school on the white side of town.
She is one of three black students there, and she is shocked to find out she's not the smartest kid in school or even her class. Major reality check.
Miss Kirwin makes things a little better—she never treats her differently because of the color of her skin. Maya loves this teacher so much so much that she comes to visit her even after she has graduated.
Maya receives a scholarship to the California Labor School when she's fourteen, and she studies drama and dance.