Posted by: Dad...Guess What?! | June 18, 2013

Are we really making an impact?

I’ve been working in the helping profession for a number of years in settings ranging from runaway shelters to schools.  I love it.  My current place of employment provides me opportunities to work with youth in an educational setting.  The goals for my target audience are simple, (1) graduate from high school and (2) go to college.  Easy right?  Not really.

Students are still placing into remedial math and writing courses after graduating from high school and the number of students continuing into their second year of college is still very low.  What does that mean?  They are not graduating from college, which leaves the question about their employability down the road.  Furthermore, current high school graduates are finding difficulty funding their education, which (I feel) impacts their world view…which turns their view into a small one.   So in my position, it makes sense to think the solution is about preparing youth for their future is strengthening their math and writing skills, while encouraging them to think in the future tense, in a positive way.  But I may be going down the wrong road.

I recently read an article about the achievement gap, and it had to do with family income, family involvement, and parents’ educational levels.  My mind somewhat imploded shortly after.  The reason I chose to work with youth is to somewhat trace the problem and/or find the source in order to provide the most appropriate support so they can succeed after high school.  But these articles suggest I have to go even deeper; I would have to go into the dynamics of the family.  But as I was thinking about that, I would have to go even deeper and explore the overall politics and economics on how we function as State to find the core issue(s).  Argh!  I had shared my thought with a colleague and I asked him, “so do I run for office?”  That’ll never happen but is that what it takes?  But then you hear a lot about political corruption so I’m not even sure if that is a viable option either.  Anyway, I caught myself staring into nothing today because I was wrapped up with these thoughts trying to figure out my next step.  Then the question came up, “are we making an impact?”

I’m now thinking back to the words of wisdom from my senior colleague –  “don’t give up.”  You hear that all the time but he told me those keys words at the right time.  My response – “no…I won’t give up.”  With that said, I won’t give up.  I just hope I’m making an impact.


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