Thursday, March 08, 2012

On My Soapbox About Education

OK, not really. I won't get on my soapbox. I'm just going to discuss some really disturbing figures. At least they are disturbing to me, maybe not to the politicians like Santorum who don't care if the lower or middle class get an education.

(Borrowed from who apparently borrowed it from A Time to Cherish Photography.)

This week I was looking at new research numbers for Houston and I learned that that only 2.7% of all Houston Hispanics have post-graduate degrees. Only 10.3% of Hispanics actually graduate from college, yet 22.6% have some college. Meaning that of that 22.6% some have associate degrees or went to college but didn't finish. 

Why does this matter? Because Hispanics are seriously lacking in higher education. I've blogged about this before, but that was two years ago. This research is the most recent data and when I read it it just makes me sad. There is so much work to be done in middle schools, high schools and even in the junior colleges and universities.

Thank goodness for organizations like Project Grad that help students stay in school and to graduate from college. I've had the privilege of mentoring a couple of Hispanic girls through this program in the past. I've also mentored kids in college and a couple of middle school girls. The best experience I've had so far was mentoring the girls with Project Grad and UH students.

So what can we do as a community? Get involved! Get involved with programs like Project Grad, Girls Inc. and other similar organizations. Call your local high schools and middle schools and find out when they are having their career days and volunteer to go speak to them. Schools are always looking for speakers. Educate them about scholarships and financial aid for them to go to college. Some kids are the first ones in their family to aspire to having a higher education and they may not even know what is available to them.

So this is my challenge to every one of you. Mentor a student this year. Whether it's a middle school, high school, or even a college student. If we all mentor one student to make it through school and to graduate from high school and then eventually college, we will make a difference. Also, volunteer at a local school, any school.

And if you're a parent, be the best parent you can be. Get involved in your child's education. I'm not perfect, but education is very important to me and something I really believe in. Be an example to the young people of today that will be the adults of tomorrow.

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